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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 497 | AIRED 07/20/2020

What Happened To Argentine Red Shrimp? Low Supply, High Demand, Strong Pricing, Labor Disputes

July 20th, 2020 In this week's episode we report on the Argentine Red Shrimp Market which is currently seeing Low Supply, High Demand, and a fishery that is still battling through labor union issues.

--- From a biological standpoint, the Argentine Red Shrimp harvest for 2020 was on target to follow a similar pace to that of 2019, however since the start of the National (or offshore) Fishery on June 1st, landings have plummeted.

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Landings by the end of June 2020 reached 52,000 metric tonnes compared to the same period for 2019 where harvest totals reached 77,000 metric tonnes and by the end of December 2019, landings totalled 215,000 metric tonnes.

Although the National season has officially started, most of the fishing has not, with only fresh vessels out on the water.

Freezer trawlers have stopped fishing due to negotiations between the companies and fishermen union which has been on-going since June.

Uncertainty for the industry continues to loom as there is no end in sight to resolve negotiations.

Conditions surrounding COVID are making things much more difficult than other years with port closures where there are COVID outbreaks.

An internal source advised us that due to a protest blocking a key port town, up to 1 million pounds of Shrimp had to be discarded. .

Argentine Red Shrimp Catch Totals

--- Moving onto the Argentine Red Shrimp Market and we can expect high prices, low supplies, and continued uncertainty in raw materials sourcing.

When COVID turned into a pandemic, foodservice sales of Argentine Red Shrimp stopped however retail sales sky rocketed - but now there is very little supply.

One major Argentine Red Shrimp processor advised there are no more 16/20 count and very little inventory of 11/15 count Shrimp.

In talking to a major Shrimp importer a nd wholesaler they advised that "Right now there is limited inventory in [the] US. It’s not the price but if you have the product. Prices are high with no discounting. [And they] hope to see product in September/October."

Overall, pricing has been quite stable on Argentine Red Shrimp over the last five years and although there is a supply shortage and prices are higher, we do not see them sky rocketing.

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--- And lastly on a note about the variations in Argentine Red Shrimp products out in the market.

There is Argentine Red Shrimp harvested and processed in Argentina without any chemical additives (which also known as soak in seafood processing), and also out in the market is product harvested in Argentina but processed in another country such as China, Vietnam or Thailand often with chemical additives (or soak).

Generally speaking, the product without additive will be a higher quality product.

Chem Free Shrimp

Our recommendation is to secure your Argentine Red Shrimp needs now while there are still inventories available as there is no end in sight for when the fishing will continue.

We also recommend that you know who you are purchasing from and how the shrimp is produced.

If and when the fishing does start back up, it will be 4-6 weeks before you will see the product land in North America and that is if there isn't transport complications from COVID.

We are vertically integrated directly to the highest quality producer straight from the boats to the processor in Argentina.

Contact Us today.

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