Sunday, August 31, 2008

CPF to benefit from WTO shrimp ruling

CPF to benefit from WTO shrimp ruling

US to cut its anti-dumping duties


Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc, the country's largest food producer, stands to gain from a World Trade Organisation ruling against the United States in an anti-dumping case involving Thai shrimp exports.

According to Adirek Sripratak, the CPF president and CEO, the decision by the WTO's top court was good news for the entire shrimp industry.

The ruling would increase the competitiveness of Thai shrimp products in the United States, as exporters' costs would decrease, he said.

The Department of Commerce in Washington has just announced duties for Thai shrimp at 3.18%, far lower than previous 6.05% penalties.

''The WTO ruling will benefit CPF as it gives the company more opportunities to increase sales in the US,'' said Mr Adirek.

Mr Adirek said CPF now expects to raise its shrimp shipments to the United States to 40,000 tonnes this year, compared with 34,000 tonnes last year.

Shrimp exports to the US generally account for 20% of CPF's sales.

CPF expects a 10% rise in total sales this year to 150 billion baht thanks to higher market prices of all meats.

Revenue from foreign operations accounted for about 17-18% of the company's total last year. It is expected to rise further this year when the CPF plant in Russia opens this month.

A number of food products under the CP brand are now marketed in 40 countries after three years of steady efforts to build the brand.

According to Mr Adirek, overall Thai shrimp exports are also expected to stand to benefit from the ruling, raising shipments to 400,000 tonnes this year from 350,000 tonnes last year.

The country's shrimp export value is expected to grow by at least 15% this year to 80 billion baht this year.

Thailand is the world's top shrimp producer and the number-one source of shrimp for the United States.

The US is Thailand's biggest market for shrimp, comprising 42-43% of exports, followed by Japan at 20%, the European Union at 15%, and Australia and Canada making up the rest.

CPF shares closed yesterday on the SET at 3.90 baht, up 12 satang, in trade worth 78.27 million baht.

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