According to the latest statistics from the Ecuadorian Aquaculture Chamber (CNA), the export volume of Ecuadorian vannamei shrimp will reach 1.061 million tons in 2022, an increase of 26% over the previous year, and the export value will reach US$6.653 billion, an increase of 31% over the previous year.
"One million tons of exports is a staggering figure, which means that Ecuador's actual production is between 1.25 and 1.3 million tons. Last year's production exceeded 1 million tons for the first time, which is an important milestone in itself." Rabobank Hai said industry chief analyst Gorjan Nikolik.
As early as 25 years ago, Ecuador's shrimp farming industry collapsed due to the outbreak of white spot virus, and then the Ecuadorian authorities banned the import of SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) shrimp, which caused a lot of controversy, and this ban still exists today.
In 2022, Ecuador will export about 590,000 tons of shrimp production to China, a substantial increase of 51% over 2021, and the export value will reach US$3.58 billion, an increase of 56%.
It is generally believed in the industry that the surge in exports of Ecuadorian shrimp is related to many factors: first, the stagnation of production growth in Asia; second, Ecuador's stronger price competitiveness (compared with Asian shrimp farming countries); and the rise of Chinese demand. Last year, about 56% of Ecuadorian white shrimp was exported directly to China, far exceeding 2020 and 2021. From 2013 to 2022, the export volume of Ecuadorian white shrimp to China (including Vietnam) will increase from 37,000 tons to 590,000 tons, an increase of more than 1,500%, and the compound annual growth rate is as high as 32%.
In addition, Ecuadorian shrimp is also taking an increasing market share in the North American and European markets. Between 2019 and 2022, sales in North America and Europe doubled to 462,000 tons.
The price competitive advantage of Eur shrimp has even attracted a group of Thai processing enterprises to purchase in bulk. In 2022, Thailand will import 17,000 tons of Ecuadorian shrimp, an increase of 209% over 2021.
However, in the past one or two months, the export trend of the shrimp has slowed down. In December 2022, Ecuador exported 89,500 tons of white shrimp, an increase of only 6% compared to 2021. For the whole of last year, Ecuador exported 196,000 tons of frozen shrimp products to the United States, a growth rate that fell to 6%, while sales in France fell by 18% to 37,000 tons.
At the same time, Ecuadorian shrimp prices are also relatively weak. In December last year, the average export price was about $5.48/kg, which was lower than $5.80/kg in November, which was a 14% drop from December 2021; the price sold to China fell to $5.24%, which was only $0.69/kg higher than that in August 2020 kg. At that time, several batches of shrimp packages were found to be positive for the new coronavirus, leading to the banning of a batch of processing plants.