Ecuador the star of South and Central America’s rise to global shrimp market prominence

A graph listing the huge increases in shrimp production in select South and Central American countries.

The future of farmed shrimp production is likely to center around South and Central America, according to Charoen Pokphand Foods Executive Vice President Robins McIntosh.

“And Ecuador is the star,” McIntosh said.

Ecuador’s vannamei production has increased 88 percent by volume since 2020. It has risen to become the world’s top shrimp-farming country, with 1.3 million metric tons (MT) produced in 2022 – far above India and China, which are tied for second place with 800,000 metric tons in 2022. Ecuador produced 843,681 MT of shrimp in 2021 and 675,852 MT in 2020. 

McIntosh, who has worked in shrimp farming and technology development since 1978, including stints in Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Myanmar, India, The Philippines, Thailand, and the United States, noted several South and Central American countries had hit significant increases in their shrimp production since 2020, including Venezuela, Peru, and Mexico. But he had singular praise for Ecuador and its unique approach to shrimp farming ... 

Photo courtesy of Cliff White/SeafoodSource

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