Shrimp farmers abandon ponds in China

Published on
May 9, 2016

Chinese demand for shrimp imports looks set to rise this year, given a collapse in breeding operations in a key shrimp cultivation region.

Pond-stocking with seedlings has fallen significantly in Guangxi province, with levels for the first four months of this year only half of those recorded in the same period last year.

A series of reports in the Nanning Evening News, a daily paper in the Guangxi provincial capital, Nanning, have detailed how a combination of low breeding success in 2015, shortage of cash and a water shortage are all combining to make 2016 a dismal season for Guangxi shrimp farmers.

Shrimp farming has been shifting into lower-cost regions like Guangxi, which borders Guangdong province, the original center of China’s shrimp industry. But as the industry has grown, so too has its dependence on the Charoen Pokphand (CP) conglomerate, which dominates the market for shrimp seedlings in China.

CP owns the leading source of brood-stock, Shrimp Improvement Systems (SIS), which has been the leader in the market since it started supplying breeding stock to China in 2004. In 2015, it sold 150,000 pairs of brood-stock, a much higher total than any of its competitors.

However, the firm has struggled to keep up with Chinese demand. China’s inability to develop its own shrimp brood-stock supply is a constant source of irritation for farmers and industry watchers who seek disease-resistant and fast-growing local shrimp lines – specialities of Florida-based SIS, which has earlier this year been involved in a lawsuit taken by Global Blue Technologies over its dominance of U.S. shrimp brood-stock and post-larvae shrimp markets.

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