3-Minute Market Insight
EP 369 | Aired January 15, 2018
Record High Argentine Red Shrimp Harvest Getting More North American Buyer Attention

January 15, 2018 - After back-to-back years of record harvests, Argentine Red shrimp is grabbing the attention of North Americian buyers. There is no quota system for Patagonian shrimp, catch limits were set in 1988 but have since been invalidated as the fishery has evolved.

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--- 2016 was a record year for the red shrimp fishery, at 178 thousand metric tonnes harvested. Landings were strong every month throughout 2017, with harvest totals hitting 227.5 thousand metric tonnes - over 27 percent higher landings year-to-year. Both imports and prices have increased into the USA this past year too. Import data by NOAA report shell-on 21/25 count Argentine shrimp increasing 4 percent by volume but nearly 12 percent by value over 2016.

--- Overall, prices on Argentine shirmp have been increasing, and the raw materials are begining to strengthen. Smaller sizes have been harder to source this season, especially the 21-25ct size. Currently, 21-25ct red shrimp is in the range of $5.10 - $5.15/lb for EZ Peel and $4.70 - $4.75/lb for HLSO. The shore frozen fishery for Argentine shrimp runs from November to May and most of the product imported into North America comes from this fishery. It is important to purchase from high quality producers who process the shrimp the same day they are caught. Whole shrimp is an attractive product for China, pricing on L2 product, which is 20-30 pieces per kg, is currently around $7.05 to $7.10/KG CFR China.

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--- In North America, Argentine shrimp is growing in popularity but has far less market share than farmed white shrimp and wild pink shrimp caught on the West Coast. Pink shrimp is Ocean Wise recommended and MSC certified, same as Tiger shrimp farmed in Vietnam. The argentine red shrimp fishery is currently not Ocean Wise recommended, nor is it MSC certified. Both of these certifications would increase it's marketability in the North American market as sustainability metrics become increasingly more important for consumers.

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