Plummeting sales to China cutting into Ecuador's shrimp exports

Farm-raised Ecuadorian shrimp
Farm-raised Ecuadorian shrimp | Photo courtesy of boost_solutions/Shutterstock
4 Min

Ecuador’s shrimp sector saw its exports drop 22 percent year over year in March, as gains made in many markets were insufficient to offset a 50 percent fall in sales to China, according to the latest figures from the country’s National Aquaculture Chamber (CNA).

In total, Ecuador exported 202.5 million pounds of shrimp in March 2024, bringing in USD 460 million (EUR 428 million) in value. In the same month a year prior, it exported 236.3 million pounds worth USD 590 million (EUR 549 million), representing a 14.3 percent and 22 percent drop year over year, respectively.

Ecuador’s shipments to China accounted for just USD 186 million (EUR 173 million) in sales in March 2024, down 50.8 percent from the USD 379 million (EUR 353 million) it shipped to the market during the same period one year ago, while exports by volume sank 41.9 percent to 91.2 million pounds from the 157 million pounds registered in March 2023.

The U.S. bought USD 150 million (EUR 139 million) of shrimp in March, a 58.6 percent jump from the USD 94.5 million (EUR 87.9 million) it purchased in the same month one year ago, while volume jumped 70.8 percent to 56.3 million pounds from 32.9 million pounds. The E.U. bought 40.2 million pounds of shrimp worth USD 89.3 million (EUR 83.1 million) from Ecuador in March, representing spikes of 32.7 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively.

Those three markets bought over 90 percent of Ecuador’s shrimp exports in March. Shipments to China made up 45.1 percent of the total, down significantly from 66.4 percent in March 2023, while the U.S. increased its market share to 27.8 percent from 13.9 percent and Europe expanded to 19.8 percent from 12.8 percent.

Falling prices have been a major cause of the precipitous drop in value of Ecuadorian shrimp exports. Though the average per-pound price has been inching up during 2024 – from USD 2.19 (EUR 2.04) in January to USD 2.27 (EUR 2.11) in March – average prices have not been this low since 2010, when he price registered per pound of shrimp reached USD 2.08 (EUR 1.93) in March of that year.

Gava Foods CEO Jorge Azar confirmed Ecuador's shrimp industry is facing a difficult outlook in 2024, acknowledging that ... 

SeafoodSource Premium

Become a Premium member to unlock the rest of this article.

Continue reading ›

Already a member? Log in ›


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500