The Ecuadorian record milestone of 1 million tons of shrimp exports and lesson for Vietnam

( Ecuador exported more than 1 million tons of shrimp in 2022. This impressive achievement helps Ecuador become the first country to reach the milestone of exporting 1 million tons of shrimp.

After reaching high export results in December, Ecuador's total shrimp export volume in 2022 reached 1,061 million tons. Total export value also reached a record of 6.7 billion USD.

The main factors behind Ecuador's success are attributed to the production slowdown in several Asian countries, modernization of the shrimp farming program in the last few years which has improved the competitiveness of Ecuadorian shrimp. Besides, the strong demand from China also plays an important role in boosting Ecuadorian shrimp exports.

Ecuador's shrimp exports in 2022 increased 26% in volume and 31% in value compared to 2021, mainly thanks to the recovery of exports to China. China is increasingly importing Ecuadorian shrimp. In 2013, Ecuadorian shrimp exports to China reached 37,000 tons, this number increases to 590,000 tons in 2022, equivalent to a growth of 1,500% in 10 years and 32% of compound annual growth rate.

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 China plays a significant contribution in the Ecuadorian1 billion tons of shrimp exports milestone

In 2022, due to difficulties in domestic shrimp production, China quickly became the main market for Ecuadorian shrimp, accounting for 56% of Ecuador's export turnover in 2022. However, it is also due to the strong increase in exports to China, so Chinese consumers Quoc is concerned about shrimp shipments that may be contaminated with corona virus from Ecuador.

The increasing competitiveness of Ecuadorian shrimp producers has also helped the country increasingly dominate markets in North America and Europe. After being suspended by China in 2020, Ecuador quickly turned to basic processing, competing directly with shrimp suppliers in Asia.

In the two years 2019-2021, Ecuador's shrimp exports to North America and Europe doubled, reaching 462,000 tons in 2022. Ecuador's shrimp export outlook is forecast to remain positive in 2023 with an increase of about 10% as exporters expect China to open up after Covid.

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A shrimp farm in Ecuador

The successful story of Ecuador is an experience for shrimp exporting countries, including Vietnam. 5 years ago, Ecuador ranked 5th in shrimp exports in the world, after Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Thailand. However, from 2021, the ranking has changed, Ecuador has “turned the table” and risen to the top of the world shrimp supplier. This is because Ecuador actively domesticates to keep seed costs low and uses disease-resistant broodstock and stocking densities.

Regarding the farming investment planning, Ecuador raises based on the farm size (to be licensed, a farm must have a scale of 50ha or more). Therefore, it will have conditions for scientific and technical investment, synchronous mechanization. The country has 220,000 hectares of shrimp farming, but up to 40,000 hectares are ASC certified, equivalent to about 20% of the area, which helps Ecuadorian shrimp have an advantage in the international markets.

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The cost of shrimp farming in Vietnam is higher than that of Ecuador while the success rate is lower

The cost of shrimp farming in Vietnam is higher than that of Ecuador while the success rate is lower. The shrimp industry in Vietnam needs to solve two big problems: the quality of the seed and the farming environment. It is necessary to pay attention to planning and periodically review infrastructure investment, especially in irrigation for shrimp. Having a synchronous solution on seed raising and irrigation will help the success rate to be higher, and reduce the cost of shrimp farming.

Compiled by Thuy Linh 

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Ms Kim Thu


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