Despite ban, Ecuadorian shrimp establishing strong foothold in China
Even as the country grapples with frequent bans due to worries among Chinese authorities over white spot disease, data is showing that the Ecuador brand has truly established itself among Chinese consumers.
Even China’s own leading exporter of shrimp, Guolian Aquatic, has been making hay over the recent holiday period with its range of imported Ecuadorian shrimp, which the company has been retailing at CNY 209 (USD 29.85, EUR 26.90) per 1.8-kilogram box.
“There is a strong demand for shrimp and it helps that the Ecuadorians say they don’t use antibiotics,” noted a salesman manning the Guolian sales phone lines.
Other big Chinese seafood players in the fray include Seamix (the brand operated by Qingdao Beiyang Jiamei Aquatic Products Co), which sells an Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified 1.8 kilogram pack of Ecuadorian shrimp at CNY 138 (USD 19.71, EUR 17.77) on JD.com. Meanwhile, Da Yang Shi Jia (Ocean Family) markets its two-kilogram boxes at CNY 199 (USD 28.42, EUR 25.63) on both of China's leading online stores, JD.com and Tmall.com.
Ecuadorian shrimp also represents a strong value proposition according to sales staff at Guolian. By contrast black tiger shrimp imported from Sri Lanka sells for CNY 298 (USD 42.56, EUR 38.38) per 800 grams (the 40 pieces are also described as “wild-caught”).
Ecuadorian vannemei does, however, face sharp competition from Argentine red shrimp: a 500-gram box of Argentine red shrimp was marketed at CNY 109 (USD 15.57, EUR 14.04) by internet-focused seafood retailer Zhejiang Lan Xue Foodstuffs Co, which focuses on the Shanghai market using the Blue Snow brand.
Ecuador’s shrimp shipments into China rose 133 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2019, to 35,000 tons. China accounted for 70 percent of Ecuador’s shipments in that timeframe.
Photo courtesy of Petrychenko Anton/Shutterstock