In the late 1990s, India was the largest exporter of shrimps in the world. It accounted for nearly 25% of global shrimp exports at the time. India’s success was largely due to the large number of small-scale shrimp ponds and hatcheries, and the availability of wild caught shrimps.
However, in the last decade, India has slowly been losing its crown as the world’s leading exporter of shrimps. This declining share of global shrimp exports is largely due to the emergence of a new player on the scene: tiny Ecuador.
Ecuador is the smallest country in South America and has an area of just 283,560 square kilometers. However, it has become the largest shrimp exporter in the world. In 2019, Ecuador exported more than 1.2 million tons of shrimp, accounting for almost 50% of global shrimp exports.
what has enabled Ecuador to take over from India as the largest exporter of shrimps?
Firstly, Ecuador has a number of advantages when it comes to producing and exporting shrimps. The climate in Ecuador is perfect for shrimp farming, and the country has an abundance of natural resources, such as mangroves and tidal wetlands, which are important habitats for shrimp. Equally, Ecuador has access to a large labor force, and its location close to the United States and Europe has enabled it to develop strong export links.
In addition, Ecuador has invested heavily in its shrimp industry. It has built a number of large-scale shrimp farms, with improved production processes and technologies. It has also developed strong relationships with large buyers, such as the U.S. and China, and implemented stringent quality control measures. This has enabled Ecuador to produce high-quality shrimps, which are in demand in international markets.
Finally, Ecuador has been able to benefit from a number of international trade agreements, such as the U.S.-Ecuador Trade Promotion Agreement. This has enabled Ecuador to access the U.S. market, which is the world’s largest market for shrimps. India’s share of global shrimp exports has been declining in recent years, and it is now firmly in second place behind Ecuador.
But the primary reason for India’s downfall was its lack of focus on quality. While India had the capacity to produce large amounts of shrimps, the quality of the product was often lacking. The country’s lack of proper infrastructure and investment in the industry, coupled with outdated technology, meant that the quality of India’s shrimps was often subpar.
On the other hand, Ecuador has taken a different approach to the shrimp industry. The country has invested heavily in modernizing their shrimp industry, with a focus on quality. This has allowed them to produce high-quality shrimps that are not only fresh but also have a longer shelf life. This has enabled them to compete on the international market, with their shrimp exports surpassing those of India in 2018.
Furthermore, India’s shrimp industry has been hampered by the country’s regulations and restrictions. The government has imposed heavy tariffs on the import of shrimp, which has made it difficult for local producers to compete on the international market. This has further hindered India’s shrimp industry, as it has caused many producers to shift their focus to other countries.
However, it is possible that India could regain its crown in the future. India has been working hard to improve its shrimp production processes, and its proximity to the U.S. and Europe could provide it with an advantage in the global shrimp market. Only time will tell whether India can reclaim its title as the world’s largest exporter of shrimps. In the meantime, Ecuador has firmly established itself as the leader in the global shrimp market.