Chinese, Belgian firms sign shrimp deal

By

Catherine Zhang, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor reporting from London, England

Published on
September 22, 2009

Chinese shrimp and tilapia giant Guangdong Evergreen Group this week signed a deal with a Belgian hatchery as part of a plan to double its shrimp fry capacity to 20 billion fry.

Evergreen, which employs more than 8,000 employees, is China’s largest tilapia exporter, shipping 30,000 metric tons in 2008. In the agreement, Belgium-based Inve will build up to eight new hatcheries across China by year’s end with the goal of producing 10 billion in shrimp fry this year.

Evergreen — with assets of USD 380 million (EUR 257 million) and specializing in fry production, seafood processing and fish feed — will work with Inve in the first stage to distribute Inve products in China, using Evergreen’s distribution network.

Upon completion in 2010, Inve will begin manufacturing products in China. In the final stage, Inve and Evergreen will set up a new company between them as a joint venture.

From January to April, Chinese shrimp exports reached 20,786 metric tons valued at USD 118.8 million (EUR 80.4 million), up 67 percent and 116.5 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.

Despite the global economic downturn, China is growing its farming seafood industry, working deals with developing nations such as Venezuela and exporting USD 2 billion (EUR 1.4 billion) worth of seafood to the United States last year, representing more than half of total U.S. food imports from China.

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