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Production of Farmed Shrimp Stagnates in 2016
During the first nine months of 2016, lower international prices and outbreaks of disease in some of the leading producing countries meant that global production of farmed shrimp remained stagnant, or even fell, compared to the same period in 2015.
According to FAO’s latest Globefish report, published on April 11, 2017, the main season for farmed shrimp in Asia ended in November with an overall sluggish trend in production. This went against the earlier forecast of increased production in 2016.
Preliminary production reports suggest that recovery in Thailand and strong harvests in Ecuador were not enough to offset the falling production of farmed shrimp in China and Vietnam due to persistent shrimp disease and weather issues. The average per-hectare harvest in Vietnam reportedly declined by 50 percent, due to poor quality shrimp fry and slow growth. Due to production issues, both China and Vietnam had to import large quantities of shrimp for reprocessing and export.
Overall production in India and Indonesia, the two other large producers of farmed shrimp in Asia, is expected to be lower than the early 2016 forecast. In Latin America, farmed shrimp production increased moderately in Ecuador, but in Mexico disease and premature harvests negatively impacted volume growth. Farmed shrimp supplies also did not improve in other countries in the Central and South American region.
Despite lower than expected growth, India moved to become the leading exporter of shrimp during the first nine months of 2016, followed by Ecuador, Thailand, Indonesia and China. Compared to the same period in 2015, exports from India increased by 11.6 percent and totaled 315,400 metric tons. Ecuador also increased exports by 7.5 percent (276,000 metric tons) with increased sales to East Asia, the Russian Federation and Latin America.
Improved farmed shrimp production in Thailand lead to a 28 percent rise in exports (150,000 metric tons) in 2016, making the country the third-largest shrimp exporter. More than 40% of its exports consisted of processed/value-added products.
With two-digit rises in Chinese export volumes to the Republic of Korea (+17.25%), Hong Kong (+18.90%) and Taiwan (+18.32%), total Chinese exports of shrimp increased by 9 percent to 136,000 tons.
Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the USA increased 10%, and exports to Japan were up 5.5%, and those to the European Union were up 12%. Vietnam’s shrimp exports to other East Asian markets during January-September 2016 were similar to those during the same period in 2015.
Shrimp prices, dominated by the trade in Penaeus vannamei, generally remained soft in global export markets; however, exporters of giant tiger shrimp (Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia) reported firmer price trends following strong demand from the USA and Japan. Supplies of tigers from India, Viet Nam and Indonesia have tapered off over the years.
Despite a limited supply of large-sized shrimp in Indonesia, prices fell because of weak demand from key markets, particularly the USA.
Among the top-three traditional shrimp importers, Japan, the European Union and the United States, demand—encouraged by lower prices—improved in the USA and Japan, especially during the summer and school holiday seasons. In the European Union, demand remained flat.
During the review period, shrimp imports increased by 3.5% in the USA, by 5% in Japan and by 3.4% in the European Union, compared to the same time in 2015. European importers and distributors reported high inventories due to slow summer demand. There were lower imports in Norway (-22 percent) and Switzerland (-10 percent). In contrast, strong import growth persisted in the Russian Federation (+44 percent), following the lifting of a food embargo, though shrimp imports remained below January-September 2014’s 37,000 tons.
Positive import trends continue in East Asia’s emerging markets, including China (+14%), South Korea (+7.7%), Hong Kong (12%), Singapore and the Middle East.
Source: The FishSite. Prices and Disease Hit Global Shrimp Production. April 13, 2017.
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