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An Analysis of the
Trade in Tropical Red Seaweeds and their Products 2000-2007
focus on the BIMP-EAGA region of ASEAN in the Coral Triangle
SEAPlant.net Monograph no. HB2B 1108 V2 TD, by Iain C. Neish
Prepared with support from IFC Advisory Services
 
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1.
This study analyzed  more than 35,000 lines of export data and 50,000 lines of import data over the period 2000-2007. These were official trade data presented in raw form under the harmonized customs codes commencing with 121220 (seaweeds and other algae) and 13023 (vegetable mucilages, thickeners and gums).
2.
The product focus was on trade balances and trading links for the red algal galactan seaweeds (RAGS) and the hydrocolloids produced using them as raw material (agar and carrageenan)
3.
Geographic focus was on the BIMP-EAGA countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and on data from 34 countries including those known to be most active in the trade for RAGS seaweeds and hydrocolloids.
4.
During 2000-2006 the Philippines accounted for 65% of total BIMP-EAGA country exports while Indonesia accounted for 31% and Malaysia for 4%.
5. From 2000-2007 the general trend for export volume (raw, dried seaweed basis) of RAGS from Indonesia + Philippines showed a production increase from about 110,000 tons/annum to about 190,000 tons/annum.
5.
Over the 8 year period this was an annual average increase of about 10,000 tons/annum.
6.
The period was characterized by tight supplies of cottonii and sacol  but adequate supplies of spinosum and Gracilaria.
7.
Indonesia advanced strongly with annual total seaweed volume rising from less than 40 K MT/yr to over 100 K MT/yr from 2000-2007. Indonesia became overwhelmingly the major supplier of raw dried seaweed to global markets.
8.
Philippine seaweed production appeared to decline from about 90 K MT/yr to less than 80 K MT/yr from 2000-2007. By 2007 the Philippines appeared to be a net seaweed importer.
9.
Malaysian seaweed production was fairly flat at a level of about 8 K MT/yr. Malaysia was clearly a net seaweed importer.
10.
Market  projections to 2012 indicated a possible doubling in the requirement for raw material sources for agar and kappa carrageenan. It appeared that most of this increase is likely to be generated from Indonesia.
11.
Perceived cottonii supply shortages during 2008 and the resultant chaotic pricing will probably cause all major buyers to examine their value chain strategies for coming years.
12.
The 2008 cottonii value chain failure may combine with carrageenan regulatory issues and with resistance to the introduction of cottonii to non-indigenous locations to negatively impact growth.
 
 
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SEAPlant.net SEAPlant.net Monograph No. HB2D 1108 V1 GTZ.
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