Crab exporters in Myeik get low prices amid high supply

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Workers sort crabs at the market in Myeik, Taninthayi Region. Photo: Khine Htoo (IPRD)

Although there is high supply of black crabs in Myeik Township of Taninthayi Region, exporters have been forced to sell crabs at lower prices in the Thailand market, which they are solely relying on for exports, according to merchants.
Earlier, black crabs were priced between K19,000 (for crabs weighing below 200g) and K29,000 (for crabs weighing above 300g). But now, the prices have dropped to the K13,000-K25,000 range.
“In the Chinese market, crabs fetch K10,000-K28,000, depending on the size. Unlike China, Thailand does not offer high prices. While crabs weighing above 300g fetch K28,000 in China, they are priced at K26,000 in Thailand,” said U Aye Lwin, a merchant.
“Earlier, depending on their weight, blacks crabs were priced at K17,000 (above 100g), K21,000 (above 200g), and K28,000 (above 300g) in China. In comparison, crabs weighing above 100g were fetching only K17,000 in Thailand. It has been four months since China has suspended imports of black crabs from Myeik. Therefore, crab merchants are currently relying on the Thailand market,” he said. Currently, crab traders are doing well financially in spite of low prices, but they are worried about a possible flood problem in Taninthayi Region. In the last rainy season, the Myeik-Kawthoung and Myeik-Mawtaung roads were closed due to flash floods. In the summer season, there is smooth transportation in the region.
“Crab exporters depend on Thailand’s market in the rainy season, and in the summer, the traders are happy with the high demand from China. But, there is no price manipulation in Thailand’s market. Black crabs may face the threat of extinction in the long term because of excessive fishing in Taninthayi Region. The catch volume is rising year on year, thereby, it may lead to scarcity in the future,” said U Khine Lin from the crab commodity depot.
There are four large commodity depots and over 10 small commodity depots in Myeik. Most of the black crabs are exported from Myeik and Kawthoung districts. — Khine Htoo (IPRD)
(Translated by La Wonn)

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