Seafood Expo Global 2024: Diverse Trends in Shrimp, Lobster, and Squid Markets

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Overview of Seafood Expo Global 2024

The second day of Seafood Expo Global 2024 has brought a wealth of insights and discussions, focusing on the prevailing themes and trends impacting the seafood industry. Participants from around the globe, including suppliers, buyers, and experts, have gathered to explore the dynamics of the seafood market, particularly examining the white shrimp, lobster, and squid sectors. The overall market sentiment reflects cautious optimism as industry players navigate through global trade barriers and demand shifts.

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Current State of the White Shrimp Market

After a challenging year in 2023, the South American white shrimp market is showing signs of recovery. The impact of the U.S. countervailing duties, initially a significant concern, has been mitigated somewhat by a correction in the anti-subsidy tax rates for key exporters like Ecuador. This adjustment has led to a reduced tax rate for some suppliers, down to 2.89%, while others, like Shrimp King Company, have seen their rates settled at 1.69%.

Jim Gulkin, General Manager of Siam Canadian Group, shared that the European and American markets are experiencing a resurgence in retail and catering demand for white shrimp. This recovery prompts suppliers to encourage customers to place orders during this period of favorable pricing, which is expected to support the market’s growth.

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Challenges and Opportunities for Shrimp Suppliers

Despite the reduced impact of U.S. duties, global shrimp trade dynamics continue to be influenced by these tax adjustments. Gulkin expressed optimism that the new, reasonable tax rates would not severely disrupt the market. However, he noted that any future increases in anti-dumping taxes from countries like Indonesia could shift trade flows, affecting global supply chains.

Innovations in Lobster Marketing and Distribution

The Australian Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative has introduced new strategies to counter the impact of China’s ban on live lobster imports. At the expo, Geraldton unveiled a new retail packaged frozen product under its Brolos brand, targeting European chain supermarkets. CEO Marc Anderson emphasized the importance of this strategic pivot to diversify markets and adapt to the changing geopolitical landscape.

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Decline in Peru’s Squid Production

Peru’s squid production has faced significant challenges, with production cycles dropping over the last 9-10 months. The primary factors include adverse marine climate conditions influenced by phenomena like El Niño, which has disrupted the marine ecosystem and affected squid populations. Reports at the expo highlighted concerns over international fishing activities, particularly by Chinese vessels, which could further strain Peru’s squid supplies.

Adjustments in Peruvian Seafood Processing

In response to fluctuating squid availability, Peruvian processors are diversifying their product lines, including expanding into wild salmon processing. Some companies are even setting up operations outside Peru, such as in Chile, to maintain production levels and meet market demands.

Strategic Investments in Sustainable Aquaculture

Norwegian company Hima Seafood is making significant strides in sustainable aquaculture with plans to establish land-based rainbow trout production facilities in the U.S. These initiatives, slated to begin construction in 2025, highlight the growing trend towards sustainable and environmentally responsible seafood production.

Regulatory Changes Affecting Lobster Fishing

New fishing regulations in Maine, set to take effect in 2025, will increase the minimum catch size for lobsters. This change aims to ensure the sustainability of lobster populations but will pose economic challenges for local fishermen and global exporters, potentially leading to reduced supply and increased market prices.

The second day of Seafood Expo Global 2024 has provided valuable insights into the shrimp, lobster, and squid markets, highlighting the adaptability of the seafood industry to global economic pressures and environmental challenges. The discussions and announcements made during the expo reflect the industry’s ongoing efforts to balance market demands with sustainable practices, ensuring the long-term viability of global seafood supplies.

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