Import Situation of Shrimp from Major Markets in 2023
MEKSEA.COM – In the context of the global shrimp market witnessing a decrease in consumption demand and low prices in the first half of this year, the consumption and import situation of shrimp in major markets in the coming months is a matter of concern for many. Mr. Willem van der Pijl, a leading international expert in the shrimp industry and the founder of Shrimp Insights, shared his analysis of the key highlights and trends in the shrimp import markets in the early part of this year and provided insights for the latter part of the year.
Import Volume: U.S. shrimp imports in the first half of 2023 reached 3 61,692 tons, a decrease of 18% compared to the same period last year. Despite the decline, a positive point is that the import volume remained stable from Q1 to Q2, and for the first time since Q4/2021, imports did not decrease significantly from the previous quarter. We will have to wait and see if U.S. import volumes tend to increase in the latter half of the year, as was the trend before the oversupply situation became evident in the latter half of 2022.
Average Import Price: The average import price of shrimp in USD per kilogram in early 2023 is at a level equivalent to that of 2019, considering the COVID-19 crisis. During the pandemic period, in the latter half of 2020 and 2021, prices surged due to strong retail sales and home consumption. Only in 2022, when oversupply began to occur as it does today, prices started to decline. Currently, the average price per kilogram for all shrimp products is roughly equivalent to or slightly lower than that of 2019.
Imported Products: From 2021 to 2022, U.S. imports of shell-on and peeled shrimp decreased to 369,796 tons and 251,067 tons, respectively. This trend continues in the first half of 2023, with implications of both these categories decreasing by an additional 9% and 20% compared to the same period last year. In contrast to this trend, the imports of value-added shrimp (mostly boiled shrimp) and shrimp coated with flour increased from 2021 to 2022, reaching record figures of 142,958 tons and 70,948 tons, respectively. This has changed in the first half of this year, with both categories seeing a decrease of about 30% compared to the same period last year.
Most suppliers to the U.S. have reduced their exports to this market from 2021 to 2022, except for Ecuador. At least until the first half of 2023, Ecuador has witnessed a slight 4% decrease in its exports to the U.S. compared to the same period last year.
Import Volume: Excluding COVID-19 restrictions, China ended 2022 with a record shrimp import volume, exceeding 500,000 tons in the latter half of the year. In the first half of 2023, China’s shrimp imports have remained just below the levels of the latter half of 2022 but still exceeded 500,000 tons.
Considering China’s current economic conditions and market, it is difficult for import volumes in the latter half of 2023 to increase compared to the same period last year. However, if China strives to achieve the import volumes of the latter half of 2022, it could surpass 1 million tons of shrimp imports in 2023. With China’s July shrimp imports reported to be only slightly lower than those of July 2022, this forecasted figure could be achieved.
Average Import Price: In terms of total import value, China imported $2.8 billion worth of shrimp in the first half of this year, a 30% increase compared to the first half of 2022. The average import price per kilogram also increased from around $5-5.5 during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic to approximately $6.5-7 in mid-2022. However, prices have since decreased due to oversupply. It is still unclear whether prices have reached their bottom or not.
Suppliers: In recent years, Ecuador has dominated most of China’s shrimp import growth. In 2022, Ecuador’s supply to China reached nearly 600,000 tons. If this year’s trend follows last year’s, Ecuador’s exports to China could reach 900,000 tons.
In recent years, India has gradually increased its exports to China compared to the previous year, but the first half of 2023 seems slightly slower than the first half of 2022. Argentina’s shrimp exports to China have been more successful. In the first half of the year, Argentina’s shrimp exports to China were as much as the total shrimp exports in 2022. This year, Argentina may return to the export levels of 2019-2020 and become the third-largest supplier to China.
Import Volume: The EU imports raw Penaeus shrimp (L. vannamei, P. monodon, and other species under HS code 03061792), which are the main products corresponding to farmed shrimp. Despite a slow market, the EU’s shrimp imports in the early part of the year unexpectedly decreased by only 7% compared to the same period last year. In April, the EU saw a sharper decrease of 22% compared to the previous year, but this trend halted in May. As a result, in Q2/2023, imports decreased by only 11% compared to the same period last year. In the first half of the year, the EU imported a total of 141,107 tons of Penaeus shrimp, a 9% decrease compared to the same period last year.
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By Hayati (Meksea Team)
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