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The World
The Shrimp Trade from January to June 2016

January 5, 2017

  Imports and Exports  

Worldwide imports of farmed shrimp grew strongly from January to June 2016, on increased supplies from most of the main producer nations, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  Compared with the same period in 2015, shrimp imports increased in Japan (+7%), the European Union (+17.8%), Russia (+44%), Australia (+4%) and South Africa (+15%), but decreased in the USA—the single largest shrimp market—by 1.2%.  Shrimp imports also increased in East Asia and the Near East, largely supplied by Asia and Ecuador.

The global ranking of shrimp exporters during the first half of 2016 remained the same as 2015, with Ecuador, India, Thailand, Indonesia and China as the top five exporters.  The leading two exporters, Ecuador and India, increased exports by 7.6% and 10.8%, totaling 180,000 metric tons and 179,000 mt respectively.  For Ecuador, the top three export destinations were Vietnam (80,000 metric tons), the European Union (44,000 mt) and the USA (35,000 mt).

Recovering from early mortality syndrome (EMS), Thailand regained its market share and ranked third in global shrimp exports.  Compare to the same period last year, exports increased by 33%, to 94,000 mt.  Its main markets by volume were the USA, Japan, Viet Nam, Hong Kong and Canada.

Indonesia’s top five markets were the USA, Japan, the European Union, Malaysia and Vietnam.  Its exports may have hit 90,000 mt during the first half of the year.

China’s exports rose 2.3% to 82,000 mt.  Exports increased to the United Arab Emirates, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but declined marginally to Japan.

  A Tough Time for Shrimp Farmers  

Lower production of farmed shrimp was reported in China because of diseases.  Similarly, production in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu was also affected by whitespot, enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP), white feces, running mortality syndrome and flooding.  Despite these difficulties, overall supply in India has been balanced by farmers significantly shifting from black tiger (Penaeus monodon) to white shrimp (P. vannamei) in the states of Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal.  Indian farmers continued to produce more large shrimp, resulting in 13/15 to 21/25-count, shell-on products.

Indonesian farms were also hit with diseases, and some had to move to other regions to avoid diseases.

Authorities in Vietnam have reported lower harvests this year.  Farming of white and tiger shrimp in the Mekong Delta, the largest farming area of the country, was affected by diseases and draught during the first part of 2016.  According to the Vietnam association of seafood exporters and producers, the farming area for tiger shrimp expanded, but production volume remained unchanged compared with 2015.

Thailand is the only country where the shrimp-farming sector seems to have been unscathed during the first half of 2016.  A slow but steady rise in white shrimp production is in progress, and this year’s total production is likely to reach 300,000 mt.


In the United States, higher inventories resulted in lower imports of shell-on shrimp (-5.7%) during the first half of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015.  There was a supply shortfall for individually quick frozen (IQF), easy-peel, shell-on shrimp from Indonesia.  Although imports of raw peeled shrimp increased by 5.8%, overall imports declined marginally (-1.2%), compared with the same period in 2015.  Imports of breaded shrimp were lower than the same period in 2015.

USA imports declined from Indonesia, Ecuador and India; however, the recovery in supplies from Thailand was noteworthy.  Demand for black tiger shrimp was healthy during this period, leading to higher supplies from Bangladesh.

In Japan, a stable yen and lower shrimp prices generated better demand for shrimp.  Demand for pricey black tiger shrimp was also strong, particularly in the Kansai region in the southern-central region of Japan’s main island Honshu.  During January/June 2016, Japan’s shrimp imports increased by 6.8% to 92,700 mt.  Of that total, 28% were high-value processed products such as tempura shrimp, cooked shrimp and sushi shrimp with rice.  Thailand had a 42% share in this high-value shrimp market.  Industry sources see salmon as a competitor for shrimp in Japan’s retail and catering trade, particularly in sushi shops and restaurants.

European Union shrimp imports from non-member countries increased by 5.4% during the first half of 2016.  Nearly 21% of non-member shrimp imports consisted of processed products from Vietnam, Canada and Greenland.  The top import markets were Spain (60,900 mt), France (53,700 mt), Denmark (41,800 mt), the UK (36,000 mt) and Italy (32,000 mt).  Imports increased in all of these markets except Spain.  There were also higher imports into Germany (24,600 mt).

In Eastern Europe, shrimp imports increased in the Russian Federation to 13,800 mt during January–June 2016, which is 44% higher than the same period in 2015.

There was also significant import growth in Ukraine at 1,500 mt compared with 345 mt a year ago.

Source: Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman (  Global Farmed Shrimp Imports Grew Strongly in 2016.  Neil Ramsden (  December 29, 2016.

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