Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Myanmar-US prawn trade is no shrimp

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013 08:33 Khin Myo Thwe

The US has begun importing Myanmar saltwater prawns following the easing of sanctions, according to Myanmar exporters.

Saltwater prawns (Photo: Hein Htet / Mizzima)

“We are currently exporting saltwater prawns from two Myanmar fishing companies to the US,” said Tun Aye, secretary from the Myanmar Fishery Products Processors & Exporters Association.

The Shwe Ya Mone Manufacturing Company reported to have received orders of 300 tons of prawns for the US market. As of March 3, they had supplied 25 tons of the product to the US.

The prawns are first sent to a processing plant in Thailand, before being transported to the US via Higashimaru in Japan.

“The current saltwater prawn price depends on the size. The small sized prawns cost US$10,000 – 15,000 per ton and the larger sized ones cost $30,000 per ton,” said Hnin Oo, chairman of the Shrimp Entrepreneurs Association.

Until 1998, the prawns were mainly ocean-caught but the breeding of saltwater prawns in Myanmar has increased in recent years.

Japan, China and Hong Kong also import Myanmar saltwater prawns.
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