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Food & Beverage

Thai shrimp output plunges by half from peak as disease spreads

World's former top exporter greenlights emergency imports to meet demand at home

A supermarket seafood counter in Bangkok. Thailand's shrimp supply has suffered so much that the government greenlit imports in August. (Photo by Kosuke Inoue)

BANGKOK -- Thai shrimp production is on track to halve from its peak this year as disease sweeps through the country's farms, ramping up pressure on the government to secure enough supply for consumers at home while supporting small-scale producers.

Shrimp is critical to Thai society, not just as a key ingredient in local dishes like tom yum soup but as an economic driver. Farmed black tiger and whiteleg shrimp are among the country's key exports.

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