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May 5, 2022


The rise of giant tiger shrimp in Chinese aquaculture


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In 2020, the production volume of the giant tiger shrimp in China was 100,000 tonnes, with annual production expected to surge to 500,000 tonnes within the next five years.


This shrimp has become one of the favourite species in shrimp farming. They can fetch high prices and thus, in recent years, many large-scale farms were established in Fujian and Guangdong, Jiangsu and Guangxi.


Last year, China's aquaculture shrimp production totalled 2.6 million tonnes (1.2 million tonnes for the south American white shrimp; 150,000 tonnes for the giant tiger shrimp; 100,000 tonnes for the kuruma shrimp; 50,000 tonnes for the Chinese white shrimp; and the rest of production volume taken up by the freshwater shrimp).


In recent times, shrimp farmers have switched to farming the giant tiger shrimp as it did not seem to be affected by certain diseases. Due to a high farming success rate, there is a strong enthusiasm to farm the giant tiger shrimp across China.


The production of the giant tiger shrimp, in fact, is growing rapidly, and output is projected to climb to new highs, with the shrimp becoming the key species in the south of China (the South American white shrimp continues to be the dominant species in the north).


Market experts estimate the whole industry chain value of the giant tiger shrimp will exceed ¥12 billion (US$1.9 billion) in the coming years, becoming another major aquatic product in China.


A brief look at Chinese shrimp imports


Before 2014, China used to be one of the world's major shrimp exporters, but the rapid growth of domestic consumption reversed the trend. In 2019, China surpassed the United States to become the world's largest shrimp importer, with a total import of 718,000 tonnes, an increase of 462,392 tonnes or nearly tripling compared with 2018.


However, since 2020, the pandemic had caused China's shrimp imports to decline. In the same year, China's import of warm-water shrimp products was about 544,000 tonnes, down 16% from the previous year.


Still, in 2021, China imported 611,000 tonnes of frozen warm-water shrimp, an increase of 12% over the previous year. Meanwhile, the import volume of frozen cold-water shrimp in the same year was about 43,000 tonnes, a 33% decrease from the previous year.




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