Asia Pacific set to dominate global shrimp market

Published on
September 27, 2017

The global shrimp market is expected to expand at a significant compound annual growth rate over the next 10 years, with the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, likely to dominate the market with more than a 35 percent share, according to a new report from Future Market Insights.

The report, “Shrimp Market: Global Industry Analysis (2012-2016) and Opportunity Assessment (2017-2027)”, estimates that the current market value is around USD 39.1 billion (EUR 32.8 billion), and will rise to USD 67.5 billion (EUR 56.6 billion) by the end of 2027. During that time, sales revenue is projected to register a compound annual growth rate of 5.6 percent.

Shrimp has become very big business and the global market is one of the most competitive in the world. It is characterized by regional companies in the Asia Pacific region, targeting consumers who seek healthy, high-quality seafood products, and by multinational companies who operate internationally. North America and Western Europe are key target markets for multinational players, who capitalize on a growing per capita consumption of shrimp in these two regions. Sales of tiger shrimp in particular are expected to rise, driven by a high preference for glaze and sweet taste by Western consumers, according to the report. 

Demand from U.S. consumers for shrimp for home or restaurant consumption continues to grow, due to their low price and high nutritional content. This is in contrast to seafood products such as salmon, tuna, crab, and lobster, which are struggling to hold a high market share due to increasing product prices and lower supply.

Globally, indirect sales of shrimp are projected to be have a 50.8 percent share by the end of 2017, but high consumption of shrimp through direct sales is expected to drive revenue growth in this segment over the forecast period. Frozen product is predicted to remain the market leader, with a 40 percent share by the end of 2027.

Farmed whiteleg species are currently the most popular species of shrimp, with a 35 percent share anticipated by the end of 2017. They are expected to remain in this position. The segment is predicted to be worth just under USD 25 billion (EUR 21 billion) by the end of 2027, up from USD 14 billion (EUR 11.7 billion) this year. 

The report gives an overview of key strategies adopted by the most important companies, which finds that they use food quality and safety standards such as those certified by ACC, EFSIS/BRC Global Standard, GMP, HACCP, HALAL, ISO 9001, and ISO 17025 as a means to grow market share.

Companies are also increasingly focusing on untapped markets such as Russia and the Philippines and many have plans to expand their market presence in Africa. 

Product and packaging innovation are key strategies, with companies citing examples such as the development of gluten-free products to meet growing market demand in Europe, especially Poland. Creative packaging is used to outpace competitor brands in the seafood marketplace, along with improved cool-chain distribution management. 

Import regulatory and certification requirements are also covered in the report.  

One factor not taken into account in its findings, and one likely to have a significant effect on global trade, is a possible ban by the European Union on shrimp imports from India. This country is the second-largest producer of farmed shrimp in the world and the largest source of imports to the Netherlands and UK.

An audit of India’s pre-export control process is due in November, following 10 years of issues related to the presence of antibiotics in shrimp. 

All shipments destined for the E.U. have to be inspected during this process and the E.U. Commission last year increased its own inspection regime on consignments from India from 10 percent to 50 percent. 

Despite assurances from the Indian authorities, 11 cases of non-compliance have been recorded since the beginning of the year, particularly for nitrofurans. As a result, the EU has run out of patience and if the forthcoming audit finds ongoing failures in the system, a ban is a very real possibility.

To ameliorate the issue, India has increased its screening regime for residues of chloramphenicol, tetracycline, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline and metabolites of nitrofurans in shrimp prior to export. Inspections have also stepped up on laboratories, processing facilities, farms and feed mills, as officials try to identify non-conformity. However, they admit that the process is difficult, especially as there are more than 50,000 shrimp farms to inspect and control.

The E.U. has considered increasing the inspection rate to 100 percent of shipments, but to do so would place a higher financial burden on importers, which in turn would need to be passed on to consumers. 

Unless India can swiftly improve the situation, importers will seek alternative sources for their shrimp, and a quick poll of seafood companies shows that this is already happening. Other main producing countries are China, Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam, and Thailand.

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