Indonesia, India and Thailand are all major producers of shrimp and fish although Vietnam’s share of total global production has been accelerating. Five Asian countries, China, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Vietnam, account for 72% of total global production. Ecuador is the second largest supplier of shrimp and fish to the United States. Click a country here for details.
Sea Lion has local staff in each of the countries where we gather our seafood. Click for CIA World Factbook data about the country itself.
Thailand is the largest and most sophisticated supplier of shrimp to the United States. Shrimp represents about 34% of total U.S. seafood imports and about 25% of total U.S. seafood consumption. The Thai seafood suppliers produce fish and squid, as well as shrimp, with the majority of shrimp coming from shrimp farms. The shrimp suppliers support ecologically sound shrimp farming and have strict quality control procedures in place based on FDA approved guidelines. These guarantee that the shrimp is fresh, correctly weighed and packed, and is free from physical, biological and chemical contaminants.
Shrimp farming production continues to grow in Indonesia while traditional shrimp catch production is decreasing. Black Tiger shrimp accounts for the largest share of production though white shrimp appears to overtake it. White shrimp is largely cultivated by semi-intensive and intensive farming. Because shrimp in Indonesia comes from such a variety of various sources, Sea Lion keeps a close eye on the origin of production to ensure a consistently high-quality product.
Vietnam is densely populated, bordering China in the north and Laos and Cambodia in the west, with a 3,200 km coastline stretching from the Gulf of Thailand, east to the South China Sea and north to the Gulf of Tonkin. Shrimp farming continues to expand rapidly across the country. Production increased from under 200 metric tons in 1976 to over 100,000 metric tons in 2004, with 80% of this production in the south and two-thirds of annual production processed for export. Today, shrimp culture is one of the most important activities in Vietnam in terms of area, production, employment and foreign exchange. In 2000, Vietnam was the world’s fifth largest producer of farmed shrimp. The fisheries sector in Vietnam exported US$1.76 billion in 2001, twice the amount exported in 1998, making it the country’s third largest earner of export income. Seafood farms cover over one-million hectares, which represents a 74% increase from 1998. Foreign earnings from aquaculture are increasing annually, and the annual earnings from shrimp alone are estimated to be US$500 million. Vietnam’s main export products to Sea Lion Black Tiger cooked shrimp, white cooked shrimp, shrimp rings and fish fillets.
The second largest supplier of shrimp to the United States, Ecuador primarily delivers shrimp blocks consisting of 6 units, each 4 pounds. Since the majority of our customers require shrimp to be packed in one or two pound bags, and in individually quick frozen form, as well as easy peel, our imports from Ecuador are limited.
The United States is India's second-largest shrimp buyer after Japan. Annual shrimp imports by the US are estimated to be over $3 billion today; India exported shrimp worth $360 million in 2003. The seafood industry was badly hit by the levying of a 10.17 percent anti-dumping tariff on shrimp exports to the US towards the end of 2004. In value terms, the US accounts for close to 36 percent of all seafood exports from India, but in quantity terms, Europe leads the list. Recently the anti-dumping tariff was lowered to zero.
Shandong, where Qingdao is the capital, was the leader among China’s provinces in the production of seafood in 2005, with a total of 7.4 million metric tons. Out of the top ten aquaculture products harvested in Chinese waters, six are different varieties of shellfish, including the top three. While freshwater aquaculture is predominantly dependent on carps, which make up 72 percent of the total, species such as shrimp and tilapia are gaining momentum. The growth and successes of Chinese seafood production in 2007 has been overshadowed by a series of import bans from trading partners relating to antibiotic contamination, carcinogens, and before that, traces of chloramphenicol.
The EU is China’s biggest trading partner, while the US remains a vital export destination with strong growth in agri- and aquaculture-related products. Japan is the major export destination for Chinese seafood, receiving around half of all exports in recent years.
China is the world leader in shrimp aquaculture. With its rapidly growing aquaculture industries, China may soon surpass Canada and Thailand as the leading supplier of seafood products to the United States. Our offices are working closely with Chinese Government Quality Control inspectors to ensure that product supplied is fresh and meets or exceeds FDA quality standards for physical, chemical and biological substances. China is the main frozen breaded shrimp exporter to the United States (60.3% of the volume traded) and is also a major exporter of tilapia, wild caught Pacific chum salmon, arrow tooth flounder, yellow fin sole, Greenland halibut and ahi tuna.
Its dominance in producing shrimp is impressive. Out of the 6.1 million metric tons of shrimp produced in 2005 worldwide, China produced about 2.5 million metric tons or 41 percent. Consumption of shrimp in China has grown tenfold in the last ten years and we predict that the growth will continue. One of the main reasons why the consumption of shrimp has grown so much is the advances that have been made in shrimp production, bringing down costs to levels unheard of before. Another key reason is the introduction and rise of the Litopenaeus Vanamei [trade name??] species, which has in less than three decades become the dominant species in Chinese shrimp production. Other reasons for the robustness of the Chinese shrimp market are: - A tenfold increase in the domestic consumption of shrimp, whether as raw material for processing or for human consumption; - A significant increase in the share of processed shrimp for export China is expected to be able to supply most of the rising demand in the domestic market for seafood. However, a rise in imports of crustaceans, like shrimp, is expected. The fact that the country will need to resort to imported supply suggests the tremendous predicted popularity of crustaceans rather than China’s lack of ability to satisfy that demand.