Ecuador shrimp packers start Brazil exports

Alex Whitebrook/ January 9, 2018/ News/ 0 comments

Some Ecuadorian companies began exporting shrimp to Brazil late last month, with the first containers on their way, several sources told Undercurrent News.

Brazil liberalized the shrimp market to accept Ecuadorian products last year, although the start of Ecuadorian imports has been delayed by opposition of Brazilian shrimp producers as well as by bureaucratic procedures.

A source at a large Ecuadorian shrimp farmer and processor told Undercurrent that several Brazil-bound containers are en route.

“We have already exported; we shipped at the end of last month. They [the containers] arrive in a few weeks,” the source said, adding “by land to certain places is complicated”.

Asked about volumes exported, the source said “not much, but there is enough interest. I think it will grow if you do not have problems with the first containers”.

He also pointed out that it was possible to export both head-on and head-off, both cooked and raw shrimp.

At least four Ecuadorian firms have already shipped containers, with a fifth one starting this week, according to another source.

In December, a source at a different large processor in Ecuador had told Undercurrentthat the impending start of shipments to Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, might provide some support to falling prices.

However, Ecuadorian shrimp prices in January fell further, because of lower demand from China, according to other sources.

The Brazilian president made a speech saying the country had opened to Ecuador shrimp imports, the director of a processing company in Brazil told Undercurrent, although he admitted he did not know there was product on the way already.

Meanwhile, two large Thai companies have already “factories approved and are in process of presenting all documents and labels to enter the Brazilian market”, one source in Brazil told Undercurrent. “There are 30,000 metric tons [of shrimp] to grab,” he added, referring to the estimated gap between current shrimp supply and demand.

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