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December 2, 2014

Ecuador

Omarsa and Songa

 

According to Sandro Coglitore, general manager of Omarsa, the first shrimp farm to gain Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its three farms, has been increasing its processing capacity since 2012.  By the end of 2014, processing capacity will be up 25%, and by the end of 2015, it will be up another 15%-20%.  The company expects to export 60 million pounds of farmed shrimp in 2015 and 70 to 75 millions pounds in 2015.  That’s up from roughly 40 million pounds in 2013.

 

The expansion comes as Ecuador has been ramping up production to help feed demand from a growing Chinese middle class and as shrimp crops in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Mexico have been hit by early mortality syndrome (EMS).

 

According to Jose Camposano, chairman of Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture, Ecuadorian production this year is projected to be 540 million pounds compared with last year’s 475 million pounds.  “Chinese demand of course is a huge factor, but...expansion of value-added and peeled products will be a big driver in 2015,” Coglitore said.  In 2013, 44% of Omarsa’s exports went to Asia, 37% to Europe and 10% to the United States.

 

As China absorbs more of the world’s shrimp, export opportunities for Ecuadorian producers open up in places like the United States and the European Union, said Miguel Cucalon, commercial manger with Songa (Sociedad Nacional de Galápagos) another large Ecuadorian shrimp producer that is expanding.  Songa’s expansion plans also come as EM,S provides an opportunity to export more shrimp into the USA market to help offset the shortfall from shrimp producing nations hit by disease.

 

In 2014, from January to September, the United States imported 19% more Ecuadorian shrimp than it did over the same period in 2013.  It imported 72,700 metric tons of shrimp in those nine months, compared with 61,000 tons during the same period in 2013.

 

About a third of Songa’s exports go to the USA, another third go to the European Union, and the remainder third go to Asia, mostly China, Cucalon said.  “We have demand from everywhere,” he said.

 

Amid the demand, Songa is adding two grading machines, to take its total to eight, and it is adding another processing building at its site on the outskirts of Guayaquil.  The company last year processed around 42 million pounds of shrimp, and with the latest expansions, it could add another 6.6 million pounds by the middle of 2015.

 

Source: Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com).  Ecuador Ramps Up Shrimp Production Amid Chinese Demand, Ems-Caused Shortfall.  Matt Whittaker (matt.whittaker@undercurrentnews.com).  December 1, 2014.

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