Global shrimp market, which registers a whopping $32 billion in yearly trade, is now rising. According to industry insiders, in Bangladesh for the first time in the last seven years, shrimp exports have experienced a rise in the first nine months of the current fiscal year backing up the increased prices powered by higher demand.
As reported by the Export Promotion Bureau, shrimp export earnings in the current fiscal year between July to March were $332.72 million, an increase of 37 percent, which is over $242.88 million during the same period during the FY 2020-21. However, the total yearly value for shrimp exports has been downward since FY 2013-14, when it was $545 million.
According to industry operators, many processing companies resumed shrimp exports as they are getting higher prices in the international market, beating the intense competition from producers in other countries. However, of the roughly 105 shrimp processing companies in the country, just 30 to 35 of them export their products.
Among the various types of shrimp produced in the country, the most commonly exported are black tiger shrimp, Vannamei shrimp, also known as white leg shrimp, and the giant river prawns.
In a daily star report, Humayun Kabir, chairman and managing director of Amam Sea Food Industry Ltd, said the Vannamei shrimps account for 80 percent of the global market, while the black tiger variety holds only 11 percent and giant river prawns hold 5.5 percent.
M Khalilullah, senior vice president of the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association and managing director of Satkhira Foods Ltd, says “Although the total production has not increased, we are witnessing around 30 percent higher prices compared to last year as the demand, particularly the demand for black tiger shrimp, has increased in places like the EU. In addition, the local producers are also expecting to export more Vannamei shrimps in the future to satisfy global demand.”
The commercial production of Vannamei shrimp has increased in world markets, especially with countries like India, Vietnam, and Thailand becoming suppliers. Therefore the government is expected to allow 13 companies to begin processing Vannamei shrimp for export on a trial basis to understand the industry’s potential.