Shrimp - May 2015
2015-05-25 16:36:43   copyfrom:Globefish    hits:

With some recovery in supplies of farmed shrimp, the trend in international shrimp trade was positive in 2014 with increased imports in all major markets except Japan

The USA continues to be the target market for many shrimp producing countries, however import demand has been weak since January 2015 due to the large unsold stocks imported in 2014. Primary demand in 2015 is also poor in Europe and in Japan, which has resulted in downward pressure on shrimp prices. Seasonal production could be delayed.
According to the Aquaculture Culture Asia-Pacific Magazine, global production of farmed shrimp increased from 3.4 million tonnes in 2013 to 3.6 million tonnes in 2014. Asian producers had the lion share at 3 million tonnes, whereas production in the Americas was estimated at 671 000 tonnes. 

With production increasingly shifting from black tiger to vannamei shrimp in Viet Nam, Indonesia, and India, the farming of vannamei shrimp in Asia increased from 2.12 million tonnes in 2013 to 2.37 million tonnes in 2014. Subsequently, black tiger production in the region suffered, decreasing from 744 000 tonnes in 2013 to 635 000 tonnes in 2014. Considering these factors, the year-on-year rise in Asian farmed shrimp production was 145 000 to 150 000 tonnes in 2014.
In terms of wild shrimp, in 2014, overall landings of shrimp in the USA were stable at 51 558 tonnes, which was only slightly lower than the volume landed in 2013. However, landings in Mississippi and Texas were significantly lower than in 2013. As a result, in December 2014, ex-vessel prices of shrimp in the USA were 18-20% higher compared with the same month the year before.

Import and export trends
With some recovery in supplies, the trend in international shrimp trade was positive in 2014. Amongst the traditional large import markets, supplies increased significantly to the single largest market, the USA . The negative trend in EU imports was overturned, although with smaller growth compared with 2013 imports. In Japan, the weak yen curtailed shrimp imports significantly in 2014. Imports also increased in the other developed markets, namely in Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.

Shrimp demand in the non-traditional developing markets was positive in 2014, particularly for domestic consumption in China, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Mexico.

Viet Nam imported more than the previous year for re-export to China and for processing value-added products destined to developed markets, i.e. Japan, the USA , the EU and Australia.

On the supply side, the top five shrimp exporters were India (345 404 tonnes) , Ecuador (300 576 tonnes) , Indonesia (181 351 tonnes) and Thailand (167 057 tonnes) in 2014 . Following the seasonal production pattern of farmed shrimp, exports increased from India (+37%), Ecuador (+34%), and Indonesia (+19%) but declined from China (-14%) and Thailand (-21%). With the rise in vannamei shrimp production and higher imports of raw material, Viet Nam exported more shrimp to the global market. 

Import - Japan
Total imports of shrimp in 2014 were 223 423 tonnes (-15%), which demonstrated a 100 000 tonnes decrease over the last decade, a significant decline in consumer demand.
During the seasonal peak in August-October 2014, farmed shrimp production improved moderately, with offer prices from exporting countries weakening in the US dollar. However, Japanese buyers had to pay more in yen due to the record devaluation of the yen against the dollar, which made imports more expensive for the market. In addition, falling consumer demand also contributed to inventory build-up in the market and the average holding cost increasing along the distribution chain.
In 2014, Japanese imports of raw frozen and processed/value-added shrimp declined by 25 000 tonnes (-13.3%) and 13 300 tonnes (-20%) respectively against the same period last year . Compared with 2013, imports were lower from the top five exporting countries, including Viet Nam, Thailand, India, Indonesia and China. Japan increased imports of cheaper cold water shrimp from Argentina, Russia and Greenland. Imports of cooked/frozen coldwater shrimp also increased from Canada and Greenland by 50%, totaling 1 000 tonnes.

In terms of processed shrimp, Thailand remained the lead supplier to Japan even with reduced exports, while exports from Viet Nam were stable. Supplies of value-added shrimp to the Japanese market also declined from China and Indonesia. 

2015 began with a significant decline in Japanese shrimp imports. Supplies of both raw and processed shrimp were significantly lower in January 2015 compared with a year earlier; indeed, total shrimp imports declined by almost 24% compared with the same month last year.

Imports of both tropical farmed shrimp and coldwater shrimp were at a four-year low. Raw frozen shrimp imports (shell-on and peeled), fell by 30% at 11 000 tonnes compared with 16 000 tonnes in January 2014. Even supplies of the popular Argentinean shrimp were 63% lower than a year ago. In terms of other suppliers, exports dropped from Viet Nam by 11%, from Thailand by 20%, from China by 35% and India by 25%. This trend is quite alarming as it occurred during the month when prices, particularly for farmed vannamei, were reasonably low and the local stocks in Japan needed to be replenished for the high consumption season in April/May.

Even with lower supplies, Thailand was the top exporter of processed/value-added shrimp in the Japanese market due to the market preference. Indonesia was the only source that managed to sell more processed shrimp (particularly cooked frozen products) during this period.

Import - USA

As a single market, the USA was the number one importer of shrimp in the global market in 2014.Year on year, imports were 60 000 tonnes higher (+12%) at 568 650 tonnes. Nearly, 78% of these supplies consisted of raw shell-on and peeled products. There was a 26% rise in import value in 2014, reaching USD 6.7 billion in 2014, while the average import price was 9.6% higher that that of 2013 due to higher imports of large sized shrimp, both shell-on and peeled.
Though India remained the top supplier in this market, exports from Indonesia and Ecuador were comparatively higher at +22,278 tonnes 18,000 tonnes respectively. In comparison, supplies from India increased by 14 278 tonnes.

About two thirds of the USA experienced severe winter weather during the first three months of 2015. This severe weather affected restaurant business during the Lent period, when seafood consumption generally increases. Retail demand of shrimp was also low as households bought more staple products, to ride out cold temperatures at home.
As of the reporting time, US domestic inventories remained high because of the surge of imports during the fourth quarter of last year and in January this year. US cold storages are also full with large stocks of vannamei shrimp. Imports of farmed black tiger shrimp increased as well, though not at the same level as farmed vannamei. At the end of 2014, total shrimp supplies in the USA, which includes both imports and domestic landings, were up about 12-13% compared with 2013.

Import - EU

In general, consumer demand for shrimp did not improve much in Europe during 2014. However, compared with 2013, the EU imported more shrimp from external-EU countries in 2014 following the availability of the cheaper vannamei shrimp from Ecuador, India and Viet Nam. The price sensitive EU markets also imported lesser quantities of black tiger shrimp, which impacted exports from Bangladesh. Shrimp imports also declined into Russia (-17%) and Norway (-14%) but increased marginally into Switzerland (+3%).

Extra-EU imports of shrimp increased by 6% in 2014 compared with 2013, but remained below  the level of annual imports during 2009-2012. The top six import markets were Spain, France, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands and Italy in order of ranking. Imports increased in Spain (+4%), the Netherlands (+ 28%) and Italy (+10%) as well as in Germany and in Belgium by 5% each. Among these countries, Denmark is the major reprocessing center. Imports into the Netherlands and Belgium are distributed to the other EU markets, including Spain, France, Italy and to East European markets.

Spanish shrimp imports increased into most of the countries other than China. Supplies from Viet Nam were 55% higher than in 2013.
India was the largest shrimp supplier to Belgian importers. Imports also increased from Bangladesh and Viet Nam during the reporting period.
Imports recovered in the German market where Viet Nam remained the lead supplier.
Asia and other markets
Viet Nam was the largest shrimp importer in developing Asia, with imports meant for re-export, with or without further processing. Head-on shrimp imports are generally directed to the Chinese market. Cumulative shrimp imports from the top ten suppliers to this market crossed 155 000 tonnes last year, a 61% increase year on year. Ecuador supplied 75 000 tonnes, followed by India with 56 118 tonnes. Other notable suppliers were Iran, Thailand and Indonesia.

Shrimp trade in China was mixed in 2014. Exports declined by 13.6% but imports increased by almost 10% compared with 2013 reaching 78 000 tonnes. Supplies declined from the main origin, Canada, by 15% but increased by a hefty 128% from Ecuador. Viet Nam was possibly the main supplier of shrimp to China in 2014, although the official data indicated only 2 178 tonnes imports from this source. The actual imports through unreported border trade could be ten times more including re-exports of products originating from Ecuador and India.

Direct imports from India also declined by 28% to 4 100 tonnes in 2014. Compared with 2013, imports from Indonesia into China increased by 367% to 2 500 tonnes. 

The Republic of Korea imported 3.4% more shrimp in 2014 compared with 2013. Imports totaled nearly 63 000 tonnes, all of which was destined for domestic consumption. Supplies increased from Viet Nam, Ecuador and India but declined from China, Thailand and Malaysia,  the countries affected by EMS. In recent news, Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea have signed a Free Trade Agreement, which should boost future exports of shrimp from Viet Nam to this market.
Amongst the other markets in East Asia, imports increased into Malaysia and Singapore but declined in Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan Province of China compared with 2013. Overall, shrimp prices in Asia, remained high during 2013 and 2014, which negatively impacted household consumption in Southeast Asian markets.

In the Pacific rim, Australia imported 5% more in 2014 against the previous year with the top suppliers being China and Viet Nam. There were also higher imports from India (+63%) and Indonesia (10%). Imports into New Zealand increased by less 1%. Reduced supplies from Thailand into New Zealand were largely compensated for by increased supplies from Viet Nam (+17%) and India (+97%).

Affected by the EMS disease, Mexico imported 36 000 tonnes shrimp in 2014, which was 12% more than the previous year. Supplies were dominated by the Latin American producers.


For 2015, world aquaculture experts foresee moderate recovery in farmed shrimp production in Thailand and also in Mexico, while India, Viet Nam and Indonesia will continue to focus more on vannamei aquaculture. Hence, overall production is expected to be better in 2015 compared with 2014. However, the first harvests of the season in India could be delayed until May due to the late stockings of the ponds. This same trend could occur in Thailand due to the ongoing draught in many farming regions. Moreover, farmers in the producing countries might be conservative in stocking their ponds due to the dwindling demand from the three major markets – the USA, EU and Japan. During January 2015, imports into the USA and Japan already were below last year’s level due to high local stocks. However, local inventories, particularly in the USA, may decrease if shrimp prices to the end consumer come down in the coming months. Unfortunately, many traders in the market are unable to reduce selling prices as they bought products at higher prices last year.
In the USA, demand for Indian shrimp may suffer due to the higher tariff rates under the latest review by the US Department of Commerce. In contrast, imports from Viet Nam may increase, which would be subject to reduced tariffs.

Meanwhile, the weakening of the euro is likely to reduce imports to the EU in the coming months. Japanese importers are also likely to be selective due to the weak yen though demand could be better demand for processed shrimp These trends leave only the US market to absorb future production. Viet Nam will also continue to import more raw materials from India for re-export to China and for processing of value-added products. As of late March this year, exports from India to Viet Nam intensified again. 

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