Strong imports in China cushioned the demand shortfalls of traditional large markets where imports were rather stagnant throughout 2019. However, even with lacklustre imports, the United States of America emerged as a price setter in the global market for shrimp trade. Due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, less shrimp than normal was consumed during the New Year Celebrations, and the forecast is for a depressed market in coming months.
Compared with 2018, the estimated global production of farmed marine shrimp increased by 17 percent to 4.45 million tonnes in 2019. Nearly 85 percent of global farmed shrimp harvests took place in the Asia-Pacific region, with increased production in China, India, and Indonesia. Ecuador was the top producer in Latin America, harvesting over 600 000 tonnes of farmed Vannamei in 2019 which was 13-15 percent higher than 2018.
An estimated 3.05 million tonnes of shrimp and prawn entered the international trade in 2019. Despite lower prices than in 2018, there was little or negative import growth in the traditional markets of the United States of America, the European Union, and Japan. Encouraged by strong Chinese demand, farmed shrimp production and exports increased in Asia and Latin America during the second half of 2019. Shrimp imports in China increased by almost 180 percent in 2019.