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May 2024: Ecuador Achieves Second Consecutive Export Volume Record Hitting More Than 120,000 MT for the First Time

Ecuador’s monthly shrimp export volume from January 2021 to May 2024
Ecuador’s monthly shrimp export volume from January 2021 to May 2024

After a slow start in Q1 2024, April and May export volumes surged to new heights. In April, exports reached 111,684 MT (+19% year-on-year), followed by a further increase in May to 124,896 MT (+16% year-on-year). While Q1 exports were 8% behind 2023, the year-total is now ahead by 2%. This positive trend suggests that Ecuador is on track for continued growth. But where is all this shrimp going?

In April and May, exports to China increased significantly compared to Q1. However, China is not the primary destination for Ecuador’s increased output in these months. In Q1 2024, exports to China were 27% behind Q1 2023. In April and May combined, exports to China increased by 4% year-on-year. Meanwhile, exports to the US, the EU, and other Europe, like in Q1, increased by 41%, 36%, and 10%, respectively. Since June 2023, China’s share of Ecuador’s exports has fluctuated between 45% and 58%, compared to 62% and 66% in the first five months of 2023. The more significant market share for the US, the EU, and other markets than China means more exports of HLSO and peeled products.

Increased exports to the US mean increased exports of HLSO (EZP) and peeled products. Whether that’s the same for Europe depends on where exports were going. A more detailed analysis shows that part of the growth is absorbed in Southern Europe, where countries like Spain, Italy, and France record 16%, 11%, and 9% year-on-year growth from January to May. These countries import mainly HOSO raw materials for cooking. However, part of the growth is also absorbed by countries such as Russia, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Romania, which record 40%, 42%, 433%, and 72% year-on-year growth. These countries import more HLSO and peeled products.

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