Shrimp Market Report, EU: October 2012

After three years of stability, the international market for shrimp crashed in June of this year. In the EU, the market situation has worsened in recent months in the midst of the Eurozone crisis, driving down prices. Imports are still declining as the general lack of demand is reflected by limited orders.

Market update

In June/July, black tiger prices crashed, resulting in huge losses among packers in Asia. Black tiger shrimp from Bangladesh, for example, was priced at USD 10.20/kg in July for 16/20, down from USD12.20-13.30/kg quoted in the previous month. Reportedly some buyers have even asked for a renegotiation of their consignments and the situation has resulted in large amounts of unsold stock.

Shrimp imports into Spain, the largest shrimp importer in Europe and currently hardest hit by the financial crisis, dropped sharply by more than 28% in the first quarter, totalling 25 200 tonnes. Supplies from China and Argentina went down sharply by 31.4% and 37.1% respectively. Ecuador overtook China as the number one supplier this year, with imports marginally increased by only 1.8%.

Similarly, shrimp imports into Italy also declined by more than 24%, with shipments from Ecuador and Argentina, the two main suppliers to the market, lower by 22.4% and 14.3% respectively.

Thailand overtook Viet Nam as the largest supplier of shrimp into Germany with supply from the former increased by 8% while Viet Nam shipped 27.3% less shrimp this year.

Supported by good demand for the 2012 London Olympics, shrimp imports into the UK were only marginally down by 2.2% to 18 200 tonnes for the first quarter of the year. Thailand remained the largest supplier to the market, exporting the same amount as last year, while India and Bangladesh managed to send more shrimp, up by 22.2% and 35.7% respectively.

India also performed better in France supplying 6.5% more shrimp to the market. Imports from Ecuador, the largest supplier, were down slightly by 3.3% during the reporting period.

The sluggish demand in the EU has badly affected the Danish shrimp industry. Danish shrimp exports during the first quarter shrank by 17.1% to 20 300 tonnes, as its export to major markets posted negative growth. Shipments to China, the largest market in Asia, also went down sharply by 35.3%. During the January to May period, the Danish processing industry imported 23 500 tonnes of shrimp raw material, 2.1% less than the same period in 2011.



Under the current economic scenario, the EU shrimp market is not expected to recover in the short term. Demand may improve slightly through the autumn as European buyers return from holiday and place new orders.

Source: FAO Globefish