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April 3, 2014


Status of Shrimp Farming in 2013


In 2013, total shrimp production in China from freshwater and marine ponds was estimated at 1.1 million metric tons, a decline of 20% from the 1.4 million tons produced in 2012.  The decline was primarily due to a drop in white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) production, which accounted for 77% of total shrimp production.  Some 6% of production was tiger shrimp (P. monodon) at about 80,000 tons, and the rest was P. chinensis, P. japonicus and other penaeids with a total production of about 190,000 tons.  The production in 2013 was the worst since 2008.


In 2010 and 2011, EMS was confined to a few isolated areas, but in 2012 and 2013, it affected farms all over China.  The worst year was 2013, when it became a nightmare for some shrimp farmers.  According to China’s Fisheries Advance magazine, 50% of shrimp farms in southern China (Guangxi, Hainan and Zhanjiang provinces) reported crop failures.  Some farms only harvested 1.5 tons per hectare per crop of small, 150-per-kilogram shrimp, compared to 14 tons per hectare per crop of larger shrimp in 2009.


Farmers also faced bad weather in 2013.  In the southern China, farmers were troubled by long periods of rain and low water temperatures.  Typhoons hit the southern coastal areas more than ten times in 2013.  Before a typhoon, farmers try to harvest quickly if they have market size shrimp.  The government estimated that because of diseases and typhoons, more than 80% of shrimp farmers lost money in some areas in 2013.  The shrimp price rose to $8.33 per kilo for 80-count shrimp at the end of 2013 because of short supplies.


In the southern China, farmers usually stock in April; in central China, they stock in May; and in northern China, they stock in June.  Most Chinese hatcheries do not produce specific pathogen free (SPF) broodstock, so they have to import broodstock from the USA and other countries.  In 2013, farmers reported that both second-generation postlarvae produced from farm-raised broodstock and first-generation postlarvae produced from imported broodstock performed poorly. There is a general perception within the Chinese shrimp industry that in 2013 the quality of imported broodstock was not as good as before.  According to China’s Fisheries Advance magazine, the performance of postlarvae from imported SPF broodstock was no better than postlarvae from pond-raised broodstock.  There should be a national standard on broodstock imports and a blacklist for suppliers who deliver diseased broodstock.


In 2014, shrimp production should recover to more than 1.2 million tons.


Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email  The State of Shrimp Production in China in 2013.  Zhong Yuming, Dong Qiufen, Zhang Song and Yang Yong.  Volume 10, Number 2, Page 20, March/April 2014.

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