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The World

Shrimp Markets by Rabobank and Ken Salzinger


Rabobank (Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.), the second-largest bank in the Netherlands in total assets, is a global leader in food and agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking!  Ken Salzinger, editor of Ken’s Catch, a free, email-based newsletter for the seafood industry, says, “Regarding shrimp, Rabobank anticipates continued growth, especially out of India and Ecuador, where supply continues to expand.  While Thailand and China did not meet their production expectations, this may change next year.  The only issue confronting shrimp growing countries is the threat of disease, i.e., EMS and EHP, with the latter being a greater threat than the former.”


Salzinger says: “In shrimp, at one time, when the USA spoke, everyone listened.  My, how the times have changed with China now calling the shots and one of its major suppliers—Ecuador—is toeing the line.  With shrimp prices out of Ecuador increasing during October and the beginning of December, China’s importers apparently got together and refused to accept higher pricing.  This put downward pressure on the prices and Ecuador acceding to China’s wishes.  According to sources, China has redirected its buying efforts to countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia where pricing is lower.  However, this remains a game of cat and mouse as China will have to order shortly if it expects goods to arrive in time for Lunar New Year.”


“Despite all the protestations of the Southern Shrimp Association (SSA) and other similar organizations, the question of whether domestic shrimp can remain competitive with imports has more to do with the lack of product coming out of the Gulf as opposed to dumping by foreign exporters.  From 2002 thru 2016, the average catch for the period between January and October has been a shade over 100 million pounds (101,993,150).  However, if we look at the period from 2012 thru this year, the landings have been below 100 million pounds and have declined almost every year.  While 2017 saw an uptick, it is questionable whether shrimpers can survive these lower harvests, especially when they are paid $1.20-$1.50 per pound....  In fact, if there is a reason for the lower catches, it is due to fewer people and boats in the water.  Of the 1,464 [shrimp fishing] permits allowed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), only 1,000 are actively being used.  Moreover, with captains feeling pressure to optimize their investments, which include on board freezing facilities, the trend is to stay out longer, thus keeping their crews away from families for 20 or more days at a time.  Unfortunately, the future does not bode well for this dying breed as imports continue to increase their market share.”


Source: Ken’s Catch (a free, email-based newsletter for the seafood industry).  Editor Ken Salzinger (phone 1-609-664-2253, cell 1-732-261-3358, email  December 3, 2017.


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