Ecuador’s shrimp market shrinksEcuador’s shrimp exports have fallen drastically. Photo: National Chamber of Aquaculture

The Ecuadorian shrimp industry has confirmed a serious contraction in its production and exports as a result of the market crisis and reduced demand on a scale not seen for more than a decade.

The announcement was made together with the Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries Iván Ontaneda, highlighting the impact that the world situation has had on the breeding and export. Shrimp farms are severely affected, with dry pools visible from the air, a situation last seen during the appearance of the White Spot disease. Added to this is the report by the production sector of a decrease in stocking densities to avoid greater economic losses that lead to staff layoffs.

China has been the main market for Ecuadorian shrimp, taking 62% of exports, with a 49% drop in June compared to the previous month, and there is a significant projected reduction for this month’s exports.

Ecuador’s shrimp sector has been quick to respond to new demands from the Chinese market, introducing widespread PCR analysis of packing plant personnel, as well as boosting biosecurity measures in areas for packaging material and containers.

Ecuador is collaborating with the Chinese Customs authorities to the improvement of biosafety processes in this new global context.

In May the sector exported 159 million pounds of Ecuadorian shrimp to different destinations, while in June it was 122 million pounds and the July projection is for less than 80 million pounds. This is a decrease that, according to the sector, is a sign it is clear that the process of adjusting to the market situation has started.

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