A shrimp processing plant. (Photo: Magrama)
Shrimp exports surpass record achieved 24 years ago
Friday, October 26, 2012, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
Ecuador exported shrimp for USD 885 million in the first eight months of this year. This figure exceeds the sale record of USD 875 million registered in 1998, before the outbreak of white spot that affected production, reported the National Aquaculture Chamber (CNA).
Jose Antonio Camposano, CNA president, noted that to achieve this level of growth in dollars, the shrimp sector has had to double the volume of shipments since that year.
In 1998, 252 million pounds of shrimp were harvested while the projections of the sector indicate that in 2012 production will be around 400 million pounds.
Camposano highlighted that producers improved and optimized their farming performance levels to achieve these results.
"Ecuador has already learned how to coexist with the white spot and counteract its effect," he added, according to El Telégrafo.
Under the XIV 2012 Ecuadorian Aquaculture & Aquaexpo Congress, which is being developed this week in Guayaquil, attendees are discussing topics on nutrition and feeding practices, market trends, efficiency and innovation in aquaculture production and advances in disease control.
The leader pointed out that "these are concerning issues for Ecuador, which offers 5 per cent of the world production."
The aquaculture technician, Laurence Massaut explained that to maintain the national yield it is necessary to adopt preventive measures for disease contamination.
"Ecuador is taking an extensive system that reduces disease spread rates," stated the expert.
In this regard, he said that in Ecuador, in every square metre from 8 to 15 shrimp specimens are raised while in other countries the average population amounts to 35 individuals per square metre, El Universo reported.
But while it has been possible to reach production levels of the year 1998, producers stress that the prices are not favourable to them.
"We have had to harvest more than one hundred million pounds during that time and supplies do not have the same price," stated a farmer from the province of El Oro.
In the first half of this year, the price of a tonne of shrimp fell by 2.8 per cent over the same period in 2011, a drop that the shrimp sector could compensate with a 13 per cent increase in export volumes. The decline in prices is partly due to a high supply from India and from China in the international market.
By Analia Murias