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Ecuador reports severe shrimp export slump

Shrimp Coronavirus (COVID-19) +2 more

The Ecuadorian shrimp industry has announced a serious contraction in its production and exports, as a result of the Covid-19-related market crisis and reduced global demand.

Ecador's shrimp exports have suffered a sever decline over the last three months

In May the sector exported 159 million lb of shrimp to different destinations, while in June it was 122 million lb and the July projection is for under 80 million lb © CNA

Prices have also crashed to their lowest point for over a decade according to the Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries, Iván Ontaneda.

According to the shrimp producers’ association, hatcheries have registered a worrying drop in production, as have grow-out farms – with dry pools visible from the air, a situation last seen during the appearance of the white spot disease.

Added to this scenario is the report by the producer sector of a decrease in stocking densities to avoid greater economic losses that lead to layoffs of the personnel.

The drop in production was reflected in June’s export statistics, which were 37 million lb less than in May.

Exports to China have been hit after shrimp packaging containing traces of Covid-19 was detected by the Chinese authorities


China, which accounts for 62 percent of Ecuadorian shrimp exports also registered a drop in demand, since in May sales to that destination reached 116 million lb, while in June the National Chamber of Aquaculture (CAN) statistics show a decline to 59 million lb – a 49 percent drop.

According to CNA projections for July, only 80 million lb will be exported this month, of which China will account for only 11 million lb.

Regarding the situation with the Chinese market, the shrimp sector is responding to new demands immediately. PCR analysis of packing plant personnel has become widespread, as well as the reinforcement of biosecurity measures in the areas of packaging material and containers. In this way, Ecuador is collaborating with the Chinese Customs authorities to the improvement of biosafety processes in this new global context.