Rabobank Forecasts Gradual Recovery in Global Shrimp Market

Rabobank predicts slow global shrimp market recovery – The global farmed shrimp industry is navigating through the complexities of the global market, and according to a new report from Rabobank, there are signs of improvement. While 2024 looks slightly better than last year, the road to full recovery is still slow, especially in key markets such as the European Union, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Although some regions have weathered the worst, significant uncertainties persist, particularly regarding sustained growth in Europe and economic stability in China. Retail dynamics in the US are affecting prices and preventing a full recovery, while low prices and supply dynamics are tempering expected growth in the sector.

The shrimp market shows only marginal improvement in 2024, with demand recovering gradually from previous low levels. In particular, the retail sector has played an important role, as prices have fallen significantly in the US since 2020, but retailers have not passed on the full reduction in wholesale prices to consumers.

The UK showed a mixed recovery, and shrimp prices actually increased in 2023, not reflecting the drop in wholesale prices. This was partly due to the shortage of supply of wild caught shrimp, but is also rooted in retail pricing strategies that seek to keep prices in line with other products such as beef steak and fresh salmon fillets.

Asia, Japan and South Korea showed signs of demand recovery in late 2023, despite a decline in the value of their imports. China, a traditional market driver, showed economic instability, affecting net imports with a large inventory accumulated post-COVID.

Ecuador, the largest exporter to the US, shows modest supply growth for 2024, despite low prices, thanks to past investments in feed, automatic feeders and genetics. However, uncertainty over how China’s net imports will affect global shrimp demand remains a concern.

Despite persistent challenges and uncertainties in the global market landscape, the Rabobank report offers a cautiously optimistic outlook, suggesting that the worst days for the shrimp market are behind us and that a slow but gradual recovery is underway. However, the persistence of low prices and issues related to tariffs and labour conditions could still pose significant obstacles to a robust recovery in the sector.

Source: Blue Line Hub