World production of farmed shrimp fell to 2.5 million metric tons in 2011, nearly 20 percent less than 2010, because of supply shortfalls in Asia, according to a new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
With the new Asian 2012 season starting in April and May, supply is forecast to recover and prices to soften somewhat, according to the FAO Food Outlook report, the seafood section of which is written by Audun Lem, senior fisheries officer.
“The market for shrimp however, should stay ﬁrm. In the United States, improved retail demand contributed to a marginal rise in imports,” said the report.
In the coming months, more farmed vannamei is expected from Thailand, India and Vietnam, the report said.
Thai production in 2012 is forecast to increase to 700,000 metric tons, whereas Indian production of black tiger may decline 40 percent to 50 percent to 60,000 metric tons to 70,000 metric tons.
Indian vannamei producers, on the contrary, could reach 100,000 metric tons, a more than 30 percent increase from 2011, it said. “Supplies of vannamei are also expected to increase from Vietnam, and the anticipated higher production will certainly put pressure on prices, particularly of medium-size product.”
EU shrimp consumption down
The cold weather and the weak economy in early 2012 had a negative impact on European shrimp consumption, although prices remained stable during the first quarter of 2012, said the FAO report.
EU imports dipped 1.2 percent to 610,000 metric tons in 2011, although Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom increased imports, it said. “Asian markets were mixed, with strong growth in the Republic of Korea and Malaysia and with Thailand and Vietnam importing more for the processing industry.”
On the other hand, imports of frozen shrimp declined in China and Hong Kong. Domestic demand for fresh shrimp increased in some of the producing countries, including India, it said.
Supported by the strong yen and high demand for prepared shrimp products, Japan’s shrimp imports rose 1.6 percent last year to 285 300 metric tons, while in China, 2011 shrimp imports of 53,000 metric tons represented a 7.8 percent decrease from 2010.