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Shrimp Exports From Thailand to Decline 50 Percent

Somsak Paneetatayasai, president of Thai Shrimp Association said that shrimp exports from the country may decline as much as 50 percent because of widespread disease.

It’s called Early Mortality Syndrome, according to Bloomberg and it’s killing off the region’s shrimp. The problem is so severe that the country may have to import shrimp from countries like Ecuador, India, and Vietnam.

The disease has hit countries all over Asia where more than one million people depend on shrimp for daily living. Thailand produces an average of 350,000 metric tons of shrimp.

“We’re seeing some encouraging signs that the outbreak is abating and shrimp supply in the second half of this year will rebound significantly,” said Somsak. “Farmers are more cautious in starting hatcheries again and this will make it difficult to boost shrimp output to the level before the disease started spreading.”

But how international shortages affect U.S. supply is a subject of debate. Much of the U.S. shrimp supply comes from overseas but domestic supply is booming. The shrimp season is about to get into full swing where gulf shrimp supplies are supposed to be at record levels this year–so much that shrimpers fear the lower prices of shrimp but higher prices of fuel may hurt margins.

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