December 14, 2017
Low output, steady demand keep prices of farmed shrimp up
Global farmed shrimp supplies were low during the first half of 2017, which was in keeping up with the low to moderate demand in the traditional and emerging markets, according to Globefish, the FAO’s fish-trade site.
As the main harvesting season in Asia ended in October, prices were up due to steady imports from the US and China. In its latest report on global shrimp trade, Globefish said further price increases will depend on the demand pattern in the major markets, while the supply will be seasonally low in Asia until March/April 2018.
China remained the largest producer of cultured shrimp, but most of China's harvest enters the domestic market.
In contrast, India, the world's second-largest producer of farmed shrimp, is largely export-oriented. Production has been good in 2017, and is expected to be higher than 2016 due to the growing number of farming sites.
Ex-farm prices in India increased in August–September, but stabilised in October as there were increased harvests and fewer inquiries from its largest market, the US. There is also the concern of a possible ban on Indian shrimp from the EU because of the escalating number of rejections due to the presence of antibiotics.
Intensified farm inspections in India
In response to these issues, India has intensified farm inspections through more significant monitoring, implementation of good aquaculture practices and penalising farms using unauthorised antibiotics.
India and Ecuador continue to be the top two exporters in the world market with a 35% and 18% increase in supplies, respectively, during the first half. Among the other top exporters, Vietnam and China reported higher shipments during the January-June period, whereas exports from Thailand declined.
Ecuadorian shrimp exports were boosted by demand mainly from Asian markets. The top five destinations were Vietnam (+33%), the EU (+3%), the US (+10%), China (+38%) and South Korea (+50%).
During the January-June 2017 review period, the world's top five importers of shrimp were the US (+8%), the EU (+0.12%), Vietnam (+30%), China (-11%) and South Korea (-10%).
Good seasonal demand during the summer months and stable wholesale prices resulted in an 8% rise in shrimp imports by the US IN the first half, which totalled 286,800 tonnes, worth US$2.75 billion.
US shrimp price increase
The average import price increased from $9.06 per kilogramme in June 2016 to $9.61/kg in June 2017, due to the weaker US dollar.
Shrimp imports into the EU remained stagnant at 323,900 tonnes during the first half of 2017. The top five single markets were Spain, France, Denmark, the UK and the Netherlands, which all imported less compared with the same period in 2016.
Imports were lower in most of the Asian markets except Vietnam. Frozen shrimp imports into Vietnam increased by 30% during the first half of the year, totalling nearly 200,000 tonnes. Most of these imports are re-exported to China and reprocessed for other markets. The top suppliers to Vietnam were Ecuador, India, Thailand and Argentina.
Shrimp imports into China declined 11% to total 49,200 tonnes in January-June. Canada, Argentina, Ecuador, Greenland and India were China's top sources.