Rio Grande del Norte is Brazil's main shrimp producer. (Photo: Camanor)
Shrimp production boost planned
Friday, April 30, 2010, 02:50 (GMT + 9)
The Brazilian Association of Shrimp Breeders (ABCC) estimates that the production of shrimp in Rio Grande del Norte will increase by 17.4 per cent this year, with respect to 2009, and reach 27,000 tonnes.
Sector sources indicate that this increase is necessary to meet the increasing demand of the internal market and avoid the need to import the crustacean from other countries.
“If [we] do not increase production, we are not going to be able to withhold the barrier to imports,” explains the president of the ABCC, Itamar Rocha.
The internal market is closed to products from Vietnam, Ecuador and other producer countries of prawn and shrimp due to the possibility of entry of diseases, and today it is the main destination for Brazilian producers.
However, if the national production is not sufficient, it will be necessary to resort to imports, and the problem is that other countries have lower production costs, explains the president of
the North-Rio Grande Association of Shrimp Breeders, Newton Bacurau.
"We do not have conditions to compete on fair ground,” he affirmed.
In 2009, Rio Grande del Norte produced between 22,000 and 23,000 tonnes of shrimp. It is the main producer of the country, with an 80 per cent share in sector exports.
This year not only is growth in produced volume expected but also the concretion of operations of the main shrimp producer of the state: Fazenda Peixe Boi.
“The producers have the obligation to increase
production. We cannot leave the market out of supply just now, that Brazil is consuming,” Rocha told Tribuna do Norte.
The product's low prices remains a problem: whereas in 2003 each kilogramme of shrimp sold for BRL 20 (USD 11), today it barely reaches BRL 8 (USD 4.5).
"The producer is selling at the price of bananas," the ABCC president warns.
“Brazil leads in exports to the US market, with a 25 per cent share, but is now limited to the European market, pressured by the devaluation of the dollar,” the executive explains.
Meanwhile, preparations for the National Shrimp Fair (FENACAM) are underway, which will be held in Natal between 7 and 10 June with the slogan 'Aquaculture: the alternative for increasing fish production in Brazil.'
The organizers of the event contend that some 10,000 visitors will attend the fair along with some 800 experts in the science field.
At the same time, the 7th International Symposium of Shrimp Farming, the 4th International Symposium of Aquaculture and the Gastronomic Festival of seafood will be held.
By Analia Murias