Shrimp production globally is on the rise in most regions and is expected to increase 4.8 percent from 2016 to 2019, according to Professor James Anderson of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Florida.

This offers a tremendous opportunity for the U.S. soy industry. U.S. soybean meal is preferred by aquaculture producers for its superior component value.

Anderson presented an overview of global shrimp production at the recent Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference in Dublin, Ireland.

The shrimp industry has faced daunting challenges in the past few years, especially with disease in Southeast Asia, the region historically producing the greatest volume of shrimp for export. Southeast Asia is currently experiencing a recovery and is on-track for positive growth. Production is also booming in India, with a 40 percent growth rate from 2016 to 2018.

China has seen negative growth due to environmental deterioration and a lack of disease-resistant brood stock. The second largest producing region, China’s shrimp exports are also decreasing due to domestic demand from a growing middle class.

Latin America is well poised to fill some of the market demand from the U.S. due to decreased exports from China. Mexico shrimp production is also recovering from bouts of disease, and Ecuador is emerging as the fastest growing Latin American country for shrimp production, having increased 69 percent in the three-year period of 2013-2016. Smaller producers in the region include Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, Columbia and Cuba.

“We’re pleased to see shrimp production flourishing in Latin America, especially the notable advancement of the industry in Ecuador,” said Colby Sutter, Executive Director of the International Soy in Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Export Council.

“We’ve been working closely with the industry on feed and operations and have synergy with aquaculture producers in the region, since Latin America is a major export market for U.S. soy.”

Courtesy of James Anderson, University of Florida
Courtesy of James Anderson, University of Florida