April 7, 2020
Global shrimp production seen lower this year as farmers face sharp sales declines
Overshadowed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, global shrimp production, particularly during the first half of 2020, is expected to be lower than last year, according to GLOBEFISH, the fish-trade site of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Production planning for 2020 has become extremely difficult for Asian shrimp farmers, who especially target China, one of the largest markets for farmed shrimp in Asia.
The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in drastic sales declines in restaurants and hotels following numerous cancellations of trips and dinners, as cities across China became ghost towns.
Although shrimp imports in China were high during the last three months of 2019 in preparation for the Lunar New Year celebrations in January 2020, authorities cancelled festivities after the virus broke out in late December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.
GLOBEFISH cited reports stating that current inventories of unsold shrimp are high in the market and that there is no sign of these levels declining in the near future.
It said the situation is similar for Latin American producers, where supplies are large at the seasonal end in February and the next harvesting season will begin in May-June.
Shrimp exporters, meanwhile, are seen to heavily lean on the American and European markets until consumption in China returns to normal. Shrimp prices will, however, be under pressure from these markets and will likely weaken.