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Ecuador says that shrimp exports to China are back on track after Covid-19 dispute

Ecuador’s production and trade minister expects a quick resolution to a trade dispute with China after traces of the SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, were detected in a container of exported shrimp.

12 August 2020, at 10:40am

Reuters reports that after Beijing suspended shrimp imports from three companies after detecting the virus.

In the last month, Chinese officials say they have found six positive coronavirus tests after swabbing the walls of a storage container carry frozen Ecuadorean shrimp, even though the shrimp and inner packaging tested negative.

After Ecuador agreed to improve shipping protocols, China permitted one of the three companies to resume exports. In an interview, Fisheries Minister Ivan Ontaneda said that the other two companies should be greenlit for exports soon.

"We are in the final stretch for the other two establishments to also overcome the impasse." said Ontaneda.

"The virtual inspections were completed to [their] satisfaction, with positive feedback on quality standards."

One of the three companies, Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila SA, sent Reuters a 10 June letter to clients in which it said it had received authorisation from China to resume exports.

The other two companies, Empacreci SA and Empacadora Del Pacifico SA, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ecuador exported nearly $4 billion of shrimp in 2019, 55 percent of which went to China, according to official data.

But shrimp sales have dropped in the last two months due to the economic effects of the coronavirus.

Read more about this story in Reuters.