Ecuador signs agreement to facilitate growth of shrimp exports to the US
Ecuador’s Vice Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries of the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments, and Fisheries (MPCEIP) has signed a confidentiality agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the first step of a strategic alliance with one of the Latin American nation’s main markets for shrimp exports, according to Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA).
“The purpose of this agreement is to achieve a regulatory association in health matters, so that Ecuadorian and United States authorities can collaborate more closely and be able to offer the necessary guarantees and controls for the entry of fishery and aquaculture products into that market. This will offer official guarantees for aquaculture exports to the United States in such a way that access to that country is facilitated,” CNA Executive President José Antonio Camposano said.
Under the agreement, FDA delegates will be invited to visit and inspect aquaculture work areas regulated by Ecuador’s Undersecretary for Quality and Safety (SCI, according to the acronym in Spanish), including hatcheries, farms, processing plants, feed factories, distributors, and laboratories. The agreement also requires planned meetings between representatives of the two countries' aquaculture and export sectors.
The agreement signing, held in Guayaquil, was chaired by MPCEIP Minister Julio José Prado. The agreement was signed by Ecuador Deputy Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries Andrés Arens and FDA Associate Commissioner for Global Policy and Strategy Mark Abdoo.
“The regulatory agreement signed by the FDA and the Undersecretary for Quality and Safety is the great beginning of a collaboration process between our health authority and that of one of our most-important markets,” CNA Executive Director Yahira Piedrahita said. “This will allow us to offer official guarantees for shrimp exports to the United States, facilitating the processes for entering this country.”
During the first six months of 2022, Ecuador once again broke its all-time record in shrimp exports, having sent a total of 1.126 billion pounds, or 510,745 metric tons, of shrimp abroad, an increase of 33 percent over the same period of 2021. That volume was worth USD 3.29 billion (EUR 3.28 billion) – up 58 percent and achieving another record.
During that time, the U.S. was its second-biggest market. Ecuador's shrimp exports to the U.S. increased 34 percent year-over-year in value to USD 702 million (EUR 699 million) and 7 percent in volume to 217 million pounds (98,429 MT).
China was Ecuador’s top destination market from January through June 2022, with Ecuadorian shrimp exports reaching USD 1.67 billion (EUR 1.66 billion) in value and 592 million pounds (268,527 MT) in volume, jumps of 101 percent and 69 percent, respectively, year-over-year.
Photo courtesy of Ecuador’s National Chamber of Aquaculture