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March 17, 2015

Guatemala

Acuamaya—Looking for Markets Outside of Europe

 

Guatemala’s largest shrimp exporter Acuamaya is aiming to break back into the USA market this year after a five-year hiatus.  The change comes in response to the company’s main market, Europe, being on shaky footing due to the weakness of the euro against the dollar.  Acuamaya also has its sights set on Asia, and plans to begin marketing shrimp in China and Japan for the first time.

 

“We’re concerned with the dollar value of the euro, so we’re focusing more of our efforts on diversification towards Asia,” Gabriel Biguria, VP of sales and marketing, said at Seafood Expo North America (Boston, Massachusetts, USA, March 15-17, 2015).

 

Earlier, the family-owned company left the USA market due to prices being less attractive than in Europe, but now—even with USA shrimp prices declining—Biguria sees the USA as a more attractive option than Europe.

 

In two weeks, Acuamaya, which sells around 5,000 metric tons a year, plans to take a trip to Korea to open the market there.  China is “difficult” because of tariffs, paperwork and Guatemala’s status as a supporter of Taiwan, but Biguria thinks the effort is worthwhile.  “We’re doing the groundwork to keep our options open in the global marketplace,” said Biguria.

 

In China, Acuamaya sees opportunities with Shanghai’s restaurants that are “starting to pick up on traceability”.  The company’s shrimp is fully traceable, with codes provided on products to identify each step of the production process, from the farm to the processing plant and beyond.

 

Gabriel’s father, Gabriel Biguria, Sr., founded Acuamaya in 1983 as one of the first shrimp farms in Guatemala.  Gabriel, Jr. joined the business 20 years later after working in Silicon Valley.

 

Asia is not an entirely new market for Acuamaya; it made its first sales to China in 1997, and has built steady relationships with Taiwanese buyers since 2009.

 

Acuamaya markets all its products under the Tikal and Crystal Ponds brands.

 

 

Information: Gabriel Biguria, Jr., Acuamaya, 7a. Ave 3-74, Zona 9 Oficina, 301 Guatemala City, Guatemala (phone 502-2332-0505, email cgabriel@acuamaya.com, webpage http://acuamaya.com).

 

Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com).  Guatemala Shrimp Supplier Turns Back to US on Euro Devaluation Concerns.  Jeanine Stewart (jeanine.stewart@undercurrentnews.com).  March 17, 2015.

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