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November 6, 2015


Lower Shrimp Prices


The increased shrimp supply in international markets, after some of the Asian shrimp farming countries recovered from early mortality syndrome, has caused Ecuadorian shrimp prices to fall by as much as 30 percent, and the industry does not expect a quick recovery of prices.


Jose Antonio Camposano, the president of the National Aquaculture Chamber, says the industry will have to increase production by at least 15 percent to maintain the export revenues it received in 2014.


To compensate for the drop in revenues, some large producers increased their stocking densities, but this lead to increased costs because inputs, especially fish feed, have not dropped in price, said Xavier Varas, marketing executive of the producing and exporting firm Sociedad Nacional de Galapagos CA (SONGA).  On the other hand, small producers have decreased their stocking densities, allowing their shrimp to feed on the natural feeds in the ponds.


In the first seven months of 2015, according the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE), the shrimp industry exported 197,000 metric tons of shrimp, worth $1.3 billion, compared to 169,000 tons, worth USD $1.5 billion, in the same period of 2014.


Camposano noted that the shrimp industry exported 25 million pounds monthly in 2010 and that now it’s exporting about 58 million pounds a month.


Ecuadorian shrimp exports were also hurt by the closure of the Brazilian market in 2009 and Mexico market in 2015.  Both countries feared that they might import shrimp disease problems from Ecuador.


Shrimp is Ecuador’s second most important export product after bananas.  Its main markets are the United States, the European Union, Asia and Latin America.  The National Aquaculture Chamber thinks the value of Ecuadorian shrimp exports could drop five percent this year.


Source: ASEAN Seafood.  Ecuador: Low Prices Hit Shrimp Industry.  November 6, 2015.

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