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Shrimp falls on low buying

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, Sept. 24

THE shrimp market is in doldrums with major importers including the US and Japan yet to commence purchases. Black tiger shrimp prices have dropped by about $1 and are ruling around $12.50 per kg 16/20 counts, according to market sources.

Japan-based importers stayed away last week following a rise in prices and US purchases are expected to induce some interest. However, major purchasers have stayed away and prices have slipped. There are no takers even at lower prices. Black tiger raw material has dropped by about Rs 30 since last week to range around Rs 380 per kg 30 counts on head-on basis. However, raw material arrivals are low with the season tapering off and the next season still two months away.

Initial reports indicate that the second season set to commence in November is unlikely to result in major arrivals. The low rainfall has affected water quality and there have been high mortality in the farms that commenced stocking about a month back in Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, with the absence of materials and the US and EU clamping down on the quality front the processors are a concerned lot, according to market sources. In the last few months there have been a spate of rejections at various EU ports on grounds of bacterial contamination and anti-bacterial residues. With the US set to tighten clamps on food products imports as a part of its vigilance against bio-terrorism, the increased inspections are bound to result in higher levels of rejections, say market sources.

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