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March 6, 2016


Shrimp Production to Increase in 2016


Brazilian shrimp production is expected to recover in 2016, after a 10.58% drop in volume in 2015, compared to 2014.


According to Itamar de Paiva Rocha, president of the Brazilian Shrimp Farmers Association (ABCC), diseases—particularly whitespot—hit Brazil in 2015, and production decreased to 76,000 metric tons, down from 85,000 tons in 2014, despite a 10% growth in the country’s farming area.


For 2016, however, production is projected to increase by 14.4% to 87,000 tons, reaching similar levels to 2003, when shrimp output peaked at about 90,000 tons.


After explosive growth in the late 1990s, shrimp production in Brazil dropped sharply in 2004 due to an outbreak of the infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV), followed by heavy floods.  Shrimp production stabilized from 2005 to 2013, with volumes ranging from 60,000 to 70,000 tons.


But in 2015, a whitespot outbreak hit the state of Rio Norte do Grande, slashing production by 9,000 tons, compared to 2014.


So far, the state of Ceará—Brazil’s biggest producer of farmed shrimp—has not been affected by whitespot, Rocha said.  “Even though the producers are taking all precautions in terms of biosecurity and best management practices, we cannot say that the virus will not reach Ceará, but one thing is sure: the measures taken by the shrimp producers will reduce the probability of contamination,” he said.


These measures include holding juveniles in nurseries for the first 10 to 12 days and then moving them to secondary nurseries for the next 30 to 35 days.  All the nurseries are covered to control temperature and to allow the postlarvae to grow up to two grams, thereby reducing the growout period.


Rocha said 2016 will see a recovery in shrimp output because major farms in Bahia (Maricultura), Pernambuco (Atlantis) and Rio Grande do Norte (Marine, Potipora and Aquatica) have come back to previous production levels, even after lowering stocking densities.


The main challenge for shrimp farming in Brazil is getting back into international markets.  Brazilian shrimp exporters are still coping with dumping duties from the USA Department of Commerce and, since 2014, the loss of favorable tariffs in the European Union.


Brazil’s population of 200 million is a huge market that consumes 55 kilograms of red meat per capita annually, compared to only 0.55 kg of shrimp.  “We have plenty of room to grow in the domestic market,” Rocha said.


The local market is also important because 95% of the shrimp comes from medium and small-scale farms.  In fact, 55% of Brazil’s farmed shrimp is sold fresh, said Rocha.


Brazil restricts imports from other shrimp producing countries that have disease problems.  In fact, Brazil did not import any shrimp in 2015, and that’s not expected to change in 2016, Rocha said.


Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman (  Brazil Projects Shrimp Production Recovery After 11% Drop on Whitespot Outbreak.  Alicia Villegas (  March 4, 2016.

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