AquaExpo 2017 Blog: ‘Shrimp visionaries have taken on a path that will not be easy’


AquaExpo 2017 kicks off in Guayaquil, Ecuador.


By Intrafish

The industry is committed to leading in transparency, sustainability

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 6.10 pm ECT

BioMar, Alimentsa partnership set to be a successful one

Fish feed giant BioMar recently announced the news that it had completed the

acquisition of Alimentsa, a very well established and respected shrimp feed producer

in Ecuador.

During a visit to Alimentsa’s plant in Guayaquil, executives from both companies told

IntraFish the synergies between them will make it a smooth transaction.

At the moment, BioMar is testing the waters, and both groups are getting to know

how the other operates in order to make the right decisions.

Alimentsa works closely with its clients, offering a full range of services that helps

farmers optimize their production not only with the right feed but also with valuable

feedback on their practices to obtain optimal results.

It also invests time and money in the welfare of its workers, inviting motivational

speaker at farming sites, offering services at a medical center and even providing

basic goods for employees at its plant.

BioMar’s strong global presence and financial situation is expected to give Alimentsa

a boost in R&D and a larger portfolio of clients, while BioMar will benefit from

Alimentsa’s expertise and importance in the Ecuadorian shrimp sector.

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1.15 pm ECT

Foreign investment ‘good for all’

If there’s one thing the Ecuadorian shrimp sector does well it is accepting and

identifying the weaknesses of the industry and working towards the best solution.

The sector has proven to be resilient, and it’s focused on innovation and

improvement in its production process.

“In the past, the feed we used to have was low quality, now we have local companies

producing high quality feed, and the participation of international groups in this

industry benefits the sector,” Rodrigo Laniado, president of Ecuadorian shrimp

farmer Songa, told IntraFish.

The world’s largest feed companies are investing in the country, and that is

something that shows trust in the industry, and proves it is a top producer of shrimp.

“It can only be positive that they are establishing themselves here — it has raised the

bar on feed quality and that adds value to our product,” Laniado said.

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 11.35 am ECT

India’s boom worries producers around the world

The United States has imported more shrimp in the first seven months of the year

than ever before during that period, and India has strongly positioned itself as the

main exporter.

“India is sending more shrimp to the United States than Thailand used to in its

highest peaks,” Angel Rubio, analyst at Urner Barry, told delegates at AquaExpo.

India, which is selling both peeled and shell-on shrimp, has, to date, surpassed

Indonesia as a supplier to the United States by 60,000 pounds. Last year, Indonesia

was the largest supplier of shrimp to the country.

“This is only to date, we have to take into account that the strongest period for

shrimp production in India is yet to come,” Rubio said.

India’s main sizes are 16/20s and 21s, said Rubio, something that is also going to affect

shrimp exporting nation Mexico.

“It seems that when Mexican producers – who have their biggest production in the

last quarter of the year – start producing, they will have to keep much of their stocks

because importers have that product from India,” Rubio said.

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10.35 am ECT

Don’t race to the bottom

The globalized marketplace is creating huge opportunity, said Avrim Lazar, business

consultant leading the Global Salmon Initiative.

“We benefit from the economic success of anyone in the world, this has created huge

opportunity because of the growth of global population.” Lazar said.

Producers around the world all work equally hard, and they all want to get rich as

fast as they can, but there is a risk that in this aim people race to the bottom.

“We have to work on the assumption that there is going to be a growth in supply, and

it will be in the world of commodity markets,” Lazar said.

“In this market, the law is you race towards the bottom, there is always someone who

wants to sell more for less, but at the cost of environmental impact, product quality.”

This race to the bottom doesn’t always play out right, he said. It is important as a

producer to try and race to the top, sustain effort towards quality, excellence.

“Eventually, others will follow you and you’ll have to compete, but at least in the

quality race you are a top player.”

Doing it right is necessary for business, he said, “but it’s even more important for

what the world needs now.”

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10.11 am ECT

Ecuador’s best allies: efficiency, sustainability, quality

“Ecuador has a dollarized economy, we have no devaluations, we have more

expensive labor, and we have to focus on our strengths,” said Rodrigo Laniado from


“We cannot compare ourselves with other producers producing more, our best allies

are our farming methods, sustainability and quality of our products and efficiency

along the supply chain.”

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10.08 am ECT

Eight months to go for Cargill’s $60 million feed plant

Cargill is seeing great progress on the construction of its shrimp feed plant in

Ecuador, for which the company has invested $60 million (€51 million).

“It will be good to go in eight months, and we will have enough production in it,

because we will bring over what we are currently producing in Peru,”Angel Gomez,

managing director of Cargill in the Andean Region, told IntraFish.

The company will produce balanced shrimp feed, partly for organic production.

Cargill is considering various alternatives for its plant in Peru, although so far a

decision has not been made.

“We might continue producing there, but this is not definite; we are seeing what the

options there are and will make a decision later on,” Gomez said.

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 10.03 am ECT

China drives up growth of 50/60 size

The market of shrimp sizes 50/60 has grown, particularly driven by China who is

consuming more 50/60, while it used to be a consumer of sizes 30/40.

“I think 50/60 is the size that is going to stay stable and have less volatility in the

future,” said Rodrigo Laniado from Songa.

In China, prices of Ecuadorian shrimp sized 30/40 has gone from $9.89 (€8.40) in

January to $8.78 (€7.46) in August.

On the other hand, margins in sizes of 40/50 have increased over the year.

“This means importers don’t make enough money with valuable sizes, and that is

why they don’t demand it, it is important that we are able to generate great value for

every part of the supply chain,” said Laniado.


Tuesday, Sept. 26, 9.53 am ECT

Ecuadorian exports now stable in value despite competitors

United States, historically one of the main importers of Ecuadorian shrimp, has given

much ground to Ecuador’s biggest competitor, India.

There is no way of knowing exactly how much vannamei shrimp is consumed in the

world, but producers can get an estimate from exports, and imports, said Rodrigo

Laniado, Songa.

“The United States imports more and more vannamei every year, but Ecuador is

increasing its production of whole shrimp, while the US prefers tail shrimp, which is

a strong product in India,” said Laniado.

They migrated from tiger shrimp to vannamei, and it’s been very successful. The

country’s production increased 70 percent since 2013.

“It’s having an enormous development.”

In addition to India as a competitor, the Ecuadorian shrimp is seeing wild

Argentinean red shrimp take its market share in Spain, a traditional market for


“Even if it’s wild and the product is different, the Argentinean shrimp is the main

competitor to our shrimp.”

Ecuador exports have, however, thrived with annual growth since 2007. Since 2013,

exports increased 69 percent.

In 2017, producers expect to surpass 421,500 metric tons, mainly to Asia, with more

than 50 percent of the exports mainly to Vietnam – 47 percent — China, Korea and


Europe is expected to account for 99,000 – thanks to the agreement between Ecuador

and the EU — and the United States for 72,000 metric tons.

Reducing dependency on Vietnam is one of the main focuses of Ecuador’s foreign

commerce officers, since there are irregularities regarding transparency and


“We have increased 25 percent in value in the past 3 years, for an increase in volumes

of 55 percent in exports. We would like to grow more in value than in volume, but it’s

hard because we sell to Vietnam.”

However, in 2017 up to August, Ecuador exports increased 17 percent in volume with

prices staying stable.

“Volume now grows, prices [are stable], so we generated 17 percent in value; this is a

way of proving that the Ecuadorian product has a value above the market.”

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 8.00 am ECT

Dignitaries and industry veterans cut the ribbon at AquaExpo2017

AquaExpo 2017, featuring 30 speakers and 160 stands from around the world, kicked

off Tuesday in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Lola Navarro


Certifications & engagements