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11 May 2010

Supply problems forcing Malaysian seafood processors to move out

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Malaysian companies exporting to the EU are looking to other Asia-Pacific countries as they face difficulties in sourcing local raw materials, reported local business daily the StarBiz.

The paper said Malaysian seafood processors may soon relocate outside Malaysia due to the difficulties in procuring seafood raw materials from domestic sources.

Seafood-processing companies exporting to the European Union (EU) have problems sourcing supplies from approved aquaculture farms as only 11 out of over 1,000 farms are approved to sell to firms producing processed seafood for the EU market.

Following the lifting of the ban on Malaysian seafood products to Europe in May 2009, only nine seafood-processing facilites in the country have the approval to export to Europe.

They also face the problems of sourcing seafood as the resources in Malaysian waters are depleting.

Thus, some seafood companies in the country are planning to invest in seafood-processing facilities in the Asia-Pacific region instead of expanding their operations in the country.

Golden Fresh Sdn Bhd is one of the leading Malaysian seafood companies and the first in the country considering such a move. Senior manager (commercial) Rosy Ng said the company originally earmarked about 25 million ringgit (1$=3.4 ringgit) to expand its existing facilities.

In a recent interview, Texchem Resources Bhd chairman Tan Sri Fumihiko Konishi said due to the dwindling supply of seafood from Malaysian waters, the group was now searching for an alternative sourcing site.

Malaysian Shrimp Industry Association president Syed Omar Syed Jaafar said many of the aquaculture farms were waiting to be vetted by the Department of Fisheries and the Healthy Ministry, while the landing sites were waiting to be vetted by the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority.


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