India and Ecuador: when Covid-19 makes harvest and processing of prawn complicated

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020 10:48

Exporters and Producersreports that the Covid-19 has made the whole shrimp production chain in major producing countries like India and Ecuador face many difficulties. Production has stagnated, output has been unstable, prices have fallen due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic and government blockade measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

Indian shrimp farmers were in trouble because the Government of India imposed a nationwide blockade from March 23 to May 3. In Andhra Pradesh, India's largest shrimp-producing state, shrimp farming is threatened by the Covid epidemic due to the peak of the harvest season. Many processors are operating in the absence of labor.

Prawn farm in India (Photo: Stockfile)

More than 50% of workers at Andhra Pradesh's processing plants are from other states, so they have to return home when the blockade is in effect and it is difficult to return to work at the factories due to the restriction. again of the local government.

Farmers cannot sell shrimp. Although the state government, on the side of farmers, threatens to revoke the licenses of processors if they do not work again. By mid-April 2020, most of the shipments were from early March before the blockade took place we were still stuck at sea or at the port of destination.

The export market also shrank significantly in the context of the current disease. Although the Chinese market has loosened import regulations as the country is said to be slowly reopening its economy, Indian exporters have yet to take advantage of this opportunity due to declining production capacity. . In the first week of April, only 3,000 tons of Indian shrimp were exported to China.

The blockade order also heavily affected Viskhapatnam state. Although the state government has fixed the shrimp price at 180 rupees / kg, no mills or traders can buy it at this price due to reduced supplies of shrimp feed and export. India is also facing a problem with insufficient cold storage to store shrimp.

Some export companies cannot get a health certificate to export. Some laboratories officially closed due to blockade. They cannot certify themselves for shipments to South Africa, Europe and Australia.

These difficulties caused the price of shrimp in the lagoon in India to decrease. Shrimp prices in Odisha in mid-April fell to a low level since the bottom of the summer of 2018.

In Odisha state, the minimum price is USD 3.40 / kg for 40 pieces, USD 3 /kg for 51 pieces, USD 2.75 / kg for 61/64, USD 2.50/kg for 71/75 size.

In Andhra Pradesh, the price of 40 shrimp has dropped to below USD 3.55/kg compared to USD 3.55/ kg in May 2018. Farmers cannot be profitable with these low prices.

Ecuadorian shrimp industry is operating with only 50% capacity in the context of Covid-19 because the number of cases and deaths are still increasing in the country.

IQF freezing line in Ecuador plant (Photo: Songa)

Shrimp production in the country is heavily affected by the processing companies mainly located in Guayaquil, Guayas province, which is also the center of the Covid epidemic in Ecuador. Some companies are at risk of having to close if the disease situation does not improve. Some processing plants do not buy more raw materials because there are no workers working at the factories due to blockade orders. While the shrimp industry has not received any support from the Government.

In Vietnam, due to unstable shrimp prices, the situation of Covid in the world is complicated, the weather is not favorable, farmers are slow to raise or narrow the area, so there is a risk of material shortage. next time.


Specialized agencies recommend farmers continue farming, businesses, people optimize the production chain to reduce product costs; apply safe shrimp farming technology process to have high quality raw material source, traceability for processing. For shrimp to harvest, people need to connect with processing enterprises to sell products. For farms that are farming in high density, small shrimps need thinning to take good care, minimize risks and minimize production costs.

Source:VASEP

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