October 19, 2017
India dominates world shrimp production, trade
Current supplies of vannamei shrimp are dominated by India, where the full-scale harvests started in June and consisted of large sizes, according to the latest global shrimp market situation report put out by Globefish, the analytical and informational arm on world fish trade of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Moreover, the official report confirmed that Indian vannamei production reached 406,000 tonnes in 2016, with a total harvest of 500,000 tonnes of farmed shrimp in that year.
The report said that in Indonesia during the first half of 2017, persistent white spot disease in many areas resulted in emergency harvests of smaller shrimp, affecting exports.
In Thailand, production was stable from January to June but with a slower rise in supply because of the early onset of monsoon in May. Supplies were expected to improve from July onwards, with the target to achieve a 5% growth in 2017 against last year's 250,000-tonne harvest.
Shrimp production in Malaysia, meanwhile, has been lower this year due to the early mortality syndrome (EMS) disease; imports increased by 25% in January-March from Thailand and India to supplement local demand and export processing of value-added products. Supported by good domestic demand, retail price of fresh head-on vannamei (40/60 pieces per kg) remained high in Malaysia at US$10-12 per kilogramme.
In Vietnam, shrimp production in January-May 2017 reached 144,000 tonnes, an increase of 46% compared with the same period last year. However, high imports of frozen shrimp from Ecuador and India also continued in Vietnam.
In Latin America (Ecuador, Mexico and others), farmers entered the low production season since March; current prices are firm for medium- and smaller-sized shrimp. Last year, farmed shrimp production in Ecuador reached 450,000 tonnes.
Just as it is the world's top supplier of shrimp, India is also the top exporter, with sales rising 34% percent to 96,921 tonnes in the first quarter, closely followed by Ecuador (93,370 tonnes, +17%). Exports from both these countries to East Asian markets of Vietnam, Japan and China, as well as the US, increased during this period.
Ecuador's exports to the EU were higher supported by its duty-free status, although total shrimp imports in the EU declined during the first quarter of the year, against the same period in 2016.
Overall shrimp consumption trend remained positive in the Japanese market in January-May. The market imported 46,000 tonnes of shrimp in the first quarter, of which 30% was high-value processed shrimp. The top suppliers were Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and India.
As for the US, consumer demand for shrimp has improved since last year, compared with other seafood, supported by a good supply and stable wholesale prices of shrimp.
Total shrimp imports in January-March, however, were lower (-0.65%) than during the same period in 2016, which could be attributed to a 9% decline in frozen shell-on shrimp imports, particularly the large sizes. US imports from India increased by 33% and from Indonesia by 6% during this period.
In the 28-member bloc EU, shrimp imports were at a five-year low during the first quarter. Among the individual markets in the EU, imports increased marginally in Spain (+5%) and France (+3%). In the other markets, large and small, the trends were negative compared with the same period in 2016.
In East Asian markets, consumer demand for fresh shrimp remains generally strong this year, at high prices. Malaysia, where the per capita fishery consumption remained high at 60 kg in the recent years, remains an attractive market to Thai fresh shrimp exporters. Imports are on the rise to compensate for local supply gaps.
The largest Asian market, China, continues to source foreign shrimp through border trade with Vietnam, the Globefish report said. Direct imports of cold-water shrimp also increased from Canada and Greenland during the first quarter of 2017. Direct imports of vannamei shrimp were up by 31% from India during this period.