Are farmed shrimp woes in the rearview mirror?

It is a case of lessons learned and contingency plans put into place for the farmed shrimp industry as it continues to deal with the aftermath of a global shortage brought on by early mortality syndrome (EMS).

In the wake of EMS, farmed shrimp supplies dropped and prices rose. In March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that shrimp prices had jumped by 61 percent over the previous year.

The outbreak of EMS in Southeast Asia impacted suppliers in Thailand and Vietnam, which historically have been major farmed shrimp producing countries. Fortunately, other countries have picked up some of the supply slack and that has brought prices down.

Gorjan Nikolik, associate director of animal protein for Rabobank International’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory sector in Utrecht, Netherlands, said, “from a supply point of view, we did expect strong growth from Ecuador and India, which clearly happened. The expansion of vannamei farming in India is continuing and the region has strong momentum. The growth of supply from Indonesia and Vietnam, at least based on trade data of the first few months of 2014, is impressive and was not expected.”

Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods “has moved a large percentage of its purchases away from affected countries to more stable ones” in an effort to “remain competitive and maintain continuity of supply for our customers,” according to Bogdan Serbu, marketing manager.


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