A shrimp processing plant. (Photo: Expalsa)
Shrimp industry experiences considerable growth
Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
Shrimp exports are said to have grown by 17.2 per cent this year. Between January and October this year, a total of 266.3 million pounds was exported, which generated revenues of USD 591.1 million, according to statistics from the National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA).
The main destination was Europe, which bought 65 per cent of the shrimp produced, followed by the United States, which consumed 32 per cent.
The results of this year show that the shrimp sector managed to recover from a loss of USD 66 million in 2009. However, the industry still faces a difficult situation internally.
Within the factors affecting the shrimp industry, employers question some aspects of the Production Code and complain about high costs for private security which have to be paid to control the wave of robberies that affect them.
"We are recovering the space that was lost last year. But the hardest part is the internal situation, insecurity and uncertainty to the sector will remain competitive," said Cesar Monge, president of the Chamber.
The approval of the Production Code does not convince the sector, and the advance to the Income Tax, in the opinion of the employer is "asphyxia weaker."
Furthermore, "although it created a picture of casual employment as part of job flexibility, it is penalized with a salary increase of 35 per cent," Monge told Buró de Análisis.
As for the crime that affects the sector, causing heavy losses, the shrimp entrepreneurs proposed as a possible measure, those who are currently paying taxes, should be offered a similar tax reduction in spending on private security.
It is estimated that paying for a private security guard costs at least USD 2,000 a month.
Although no official statistics exist because crimes go unreported due to fear of reprisals, the CNA says that thefts occur frequently.
In each assault, 10,000 to 15,000 pounds of shrimp (about 4.5 to 6 tonnes) was taken, representing approximately USD 25,000. These criminal acts are detrimental mainly to small and medium producers.
By Silvina Corniola