Ecuador has essentially replaced India as the shrimp export powerhouse – the latter having grown by an impressive CAGR of 19% between 2012 to 2019. Since that peak, however, issues with disease have caused a significant decline in the subcontinent. Although its export levels in the first six months of this year were only 1 percent below H1 2022, the 30% drop in broodstock imports in that same timeframe is likely to translate into a dramatic decline of production in H2, with experts predicting the country to export in the region of 600,000 tonnes of shrimp in total this year.
As Sree Atluri of Devi Seafoods explained, Indian farmers are reducing stocking densities having been hit by poor prices. He predicted a decline in production of at least 15% in the last two quarters of the year.
Devi explained that stocking densities have fallen from 35-45 shrimp per m2 to 15-25 per m2. He added that farmers in India have been cutting down power and feed costs, trying to increase the size of their shrimp or change to monodon.
Although there was a small uptick in pricing in August, which is motivating farmers to increase stocking densities, Atluri expects this to be unable to reverse the decline.
On a more positive note, he pointed out that there has been a marked increase in monodon production, with Asian markets absorbing this uptick and overall production of the species is expected to double compared to 2022.
Vietnam and Indonesia
Meanwhile, session chair Willem van der Pijl explained that – judging by imports from Vietnam’s main markets – the country’s shrimp exports fell by 31% in Q1 and 39% in Q2. According to van der Pijl, an overall decrease of 25% is expected for 2023, which would equate to total shrimp exports of 284,000 tonnes.
Liem Nguyen, from Minh Phu, backed up van der Pijl’s forecast, noting that the company – the country’s largest seafood firm – had been processing 25% fewer shrimp than last year. However, he added that they are anticipating an increase in demand from restaurants and an increase in value-added shrimp.
Van der Pijl then moved on to Indonesia, using data sourced from BKIAM. This pointed to a 19% reduction in exports in H1, and a 13% reduction expected overall, to 202,000 tonnes. Prices were down, due to the country’s overreliance on the US market.
Aris Utama, from Bumi Menara Internusa, backed up the data: “The decline is real and we feel it,” he lamented.
As Utama pointed out, the country’s focus on intensive farming models generates high production costs, which have been exacerbated by disease issues. When the USD 3.50 per kg cost of production is exceeded then big farmers will hold off on their stocking regimes, he observed.