Shrimp prices are sliding in Ecuador but producers say they are optimistic about long-term prospects.
According to industry sources, the drop is due to a combination of factors: the overproduction of large sizes of shrimp, European buyers keeping an eye on the dollar exchange and U.S. companies sitting back on good inventories.
At the same time as prices in Ecuador are falling, prices in Indonesia and also Thailand are firming, with raw material said to be short. As a result, there are reports of Thai processors joining the Vietnamese packers in buying from India, with raw material supply in both still being impacted by shrimp early mortality syndrome (EMS) and other diseases.
With farmers in their low production season and focused on dealing with EMS, Thai processors have even put in inquiries to Ecuadorian packers, one source told Undercurrent. The general shortage of shrimp in Asia indicated by at least one Thai processor joining Vietnam in buying from India for re-processing means Ecuadorian packers remain bullish on 2015.
What happens with prices and demand when China comes back from the New Year holiday, starting Feb. 19 this year and running for a week, remains to be seen. Sellers state prices will rise, buyers that they will fall. This is up for debate, but the reality is, prices are falling at the moment.