Wednesday, September 13, 2017

14/09/2017: Marketing farmed shrimp and seafood produced in Asia

by Roger Gilbert, International Aquafeed

Aquaculture production has almost doubled in quantity over the past 15 years and modern day marketing is demanding greater awareness and understanding by producers, especially those in Asia

“If we compare farmed livestock, such as farmed chicken, pigs or beef animals the consumer does not compare those products with wild animals,” says Hervé Lucien-Brun of Aquaculture and Qualité in his opening presentation to the Asian-Pacific Aquaculture Conference 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 24-27, 2017.

“No consumer today buys a wild chicken, however if you buy fish or shrimp today you have to make a decision as to whether it is farmed or wild.”

“If you want to market well you have to be prepared to meet the real demand of the market and for us that means to have a good knowledge of the fish market.”

Each market has its own specification in quality control and specification, he adds.

Shrimp as an example

If we view the world production of shrimp we see by far that Asia is the main producer.

“However, in the eyes of the consumer you don’t see so much Asian shrimp. You see Asian shrimp more in commodity products and this is not good. We need to understand why.”

He said we should not overlook the importance of the local market. The local market is a real market and should not been seen as just a secondary market. For example, almost all production from Ecuador is exported while in Mexico almost all shrimp production is consumed by the local market and the country is even importing shrimp to meet local demand.

Brazil, during the Ecuador White Spot disease in 1999, became a strong exporter. But due to international exchange rate fluctuations it has become less attractive for Brazilian farmers to export shrimp to the US, or to Europe, so in response the industry has developed a local market.

“If you look at the statistics you can see that Brazil does not export very much at all, but is still a significant producer.”

The major international markets are still Europe followed by the US and then Japan while China is “coming up”, he says.

China was a net exporter before, now it is a net importer of shrimp. In Europe Spain is the main importer followed by France. These two countries account for almost 16 percent of the total imports.

“Why do you need to meet the demand of the fish or shrimp market? The type of product each market imports is different. For example, the southern countries of Europe import head-on shrimp. The northerly countries of Europe import added-value, the US added-value while Japan imports everything.”

The time of year is also important, in Europe it is between Christmas and New Year that is the main period for shrimp consumption. In the US 25 percent of shrimp are consumed during the Super Bowl, in Japan it’s during the Spring Festival.”

“So you need to have product ready and take into consideration the time it takes to get it from farm to the market.

“To prepare for Christmas in Europe importers close their orders in November which means the last exports are in October or even in September,” he adds.

Exchange rates also impact the market and who is buying and who is reducing their purchases, he adds.

Read the full article in International Aquafeed magazine, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
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