By Lewis Hu | Dec. 29, 2023 09:21 GMT Source

As 2023 comes to an end and transitions into 2024, there are encouraging signs for the Chinese farmed shrimp market. Prices of Vannamei shrimp have been steadily increasing in the final week of 2023. Additionally, there has been a relief in inventory pressure on imported shrimp.

In the Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta region, the price of shrimp, particularly 60-count per kilogram, has surged to over CNY 57/kg ($8.00/kg) as of week 52. Similarly, there is an upward trend in the prices of greenhouse-farmed shrimp in Jiangsu and within the land-based shrimp industry in Shandong.

On December 25th, a local media outlet called Fish First reported a widespread surge in shrimp prices across the country during the final week of 2023. This surge is attributed to increased market demand, with intermediary buyers actively adjusting prices for procurement from farmers. Many farmers are hesitant to sell in large quantities, as they anticipate better prices during the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival, which fall on February 9-15, 2024.

In the imported frozen shrimp sector, there is currently an alleviation of inventory pressure, attributed to a decrease in container arrivals. According to Chinese customs data, shipments of frozen shrimp in November totaled 73,800 metric tons, marking a month-on-month decrease of 5,300 tons and setting a record for the fourth consecutive monthly decline in import volumes.

In November, China imported 50,600 tons of shrimp from Ecuador, making up almost 70% of the total. The continuous reduction of imported shrimp has provided slight relief to the inventory pressure on the frozen shrimp market in China, according to Seafood Guide, another publication.

From January to November, China imported a total of 916,900 tons of frozen shrimp, with Ecuadorian shrimp comprising 646,900 tons of that total. Quanlian Jicai, China’s largest shrimp importer, informed buyers in week 51 through its WeChat channel that due to Christmas and New Year celebrations in Ecuador, suppliers are currently occupied, diverting attention away from sales activities. Consequently, transaction volumes have been limited in recent weeks.

Furthermore, the relatively low purchasing prices offered by Chinese buyers have led Ecuadorian exporters to explore opportunities with buyers from other countries, according to Quanlian.