The unusual large harvest in March/April caused an oversupply in Asia, when shrimp demand tends to be generally low in international trade

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The unusual large harvest in March/April caused an oversupply in Asia, when shrimp demand tends to be generally low in international trade

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Export prices crashed in April and ex-farm prices fell to cost level in India and other producing countries in Southeast Asia. In international trading, new negotiations between buyers and sellers ceased for almost two months, but the market started to move slowly in July.


The shrimp farming season in 2018 had a positive start in most producing countries in Asia. Unlike previous years, production volume for the first harvest of the season in April was high in India, Indonesia and Viet Nam. Production in China also increased from May onwards.

India’s large harvest in April, consisting mainly of not in medium to smaller sizes, was met with weak demand, particularly in its main market, the United States of America. Consequently, ex-farm shrimp prices dropped drastically, even below production costs. The trends have been similar in Southeast Asia. Production was good in Indonesia, where farm gate prices declined following the regional trend.

The industry association in Viet Nam reported an 11 percent increase in production to 120 000 tonnes during the first quarter of 2018. Ex-farm prices of black tiger and vannamei shrimp in the Mekong Delta dropped abruptly in May due to the high supply. Shrimp imports in Viet Nam slowed down during this period.

In Ecuador, the shrimp industry has been less affected, because March through June was the off-season for farmed shrimp.


During the first quarter of 2018, the top four shrimp exporting countries recorded double-digit growth rates. Indian exports increased by 23 percent, with 47 and 58 percent increases in deliveries to Viet Nam and China, respectively.

Exports from Viet Nam also increased to its top markets (United States of America, EU28, Australia, Canada and China). Ecuador increased its direct exports to China by a substantial 535 percent to 13 500 tonnes but its exports to the top market of Viet Nam increased by only 4 percent to 49 000 tonnes during the review period.

This significant growth in direct exports from India, Ecuador and even Viet Nam to China is a result of China’s strict measures to curb illegal imports through border trade with Viet Nam.


The sharp decline in shrimp prices during the first quarter of 2018 facilitated higher imports in the markets worldwide, except in Japan. In 2018, China took stern measures against illegal border imports of seafood from Viet Nam particularly starting in February after the Chinese New Year. In 2017, an estimated over 300 000 tonnes of shrimp entered the Chinese market from Viet Nam through unreported border trade.

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