China lifted its temporary suspensions on prawns imports from the largest companies in Ecuador (companies that accounts for 50% of Ecuador’s total prawn export). China first implemented the temporary suspension in mid-September, on allegations the cargo carried different prawn diseases. Consequently, according to Ecuador's Camara Nacional de Acuacultura (CNA) - National Chamber of Aquaculture, Ecuadorian prawn exports in September 2019 were 6,500 tonnes less compared to August 2019 (-11% m-o-m) amounting to a total of 51,000 tonnes.
Since the suspension came into place, Chinese importers were worried prawns prices would increase, as Ecuador is China's leading prawn supplier. Mintec prawns price in China show an increase of 3% in September compared to August, although not as much as anticipated.
In October, prices continued to trend up, although at a slower pace, driven by high demand from Chinese buyers. As a result, Ecuadorian prawn exports to China have rebounded in October, up 13% m-o-m. Market participants anticipate prices to continue rising over the next couple of months, supported by the approach of the Chinese New Year when demand usually picks up.
Overall, Ecuadorian prawns continue to gain presence in the global market, with sales increasing month on month. Ecuador exported a total of 524,000 tonnes of prawns between January and October – an increase of 26% y-o-y.