The vannamiei situation is not quite as dire as that of black tiger, but volumes are also down and prices are “extremely firm.”
India for example, has been faced with massive orders from United States in July while their shrimp production is around the same level of last year, so prices have gone up around 5-10 percent, said Lenk.
“There is a lot of demand and packers are hesitating a lot to offer new product,” he said.
According to Huys, prices for vannamei from India also increased $0.50 (€0.44) to $0.60 (€0.53) per kilo in the last two weeks. “There they can offer, but there is also a lack of product,” he said.
Nevertheless packers are expecting more product to become available in the next couple of weeks, he said.
“There is a big demand from all over the world for shrimp — black tiger and vannamei — and the problem is everyone goes on the same markets,” said Huys.
Bangladesh is very small in terms of production and its capacity is not very high, so the producers accepted a lot of orders without having any black tiger shrimp.
“So then everyone goes to India for vannamei and there also everyone gets overloaded,” said Huys.
Normally prices from Bangladesh and India are a little bit cheaper than other producing countries. For example, it is possible to source from Vietnam as well, according to Huys, but prices there can be $2 (€1.80), $3 (€2.70) or $4 (€3.50) more per kilo for black tiger and vannamei.
“Then it is a price question when it’s expensive like that,” he said. “When prices are that high, normal European buyers get scared.
“At the moment, it is really not easy, nobody has product, nobody has stock, and everybody wants to buy.”
And with the end of year approaching fast, this is also contributing to the market pressure.
For year-end sales, product will have to be shipped within the next month, said Huys.
“But nobody is getting product, I don‘t know what is going to happen,” he said.“With the end of the year coming everyone needs product.”
Meanwhile, importers in the EU are now realizing there will not be a downturn in prices when it comes to vannamei, instead they are stable and on an upward trend.
Prices are extremely strong and there is not the slightest sign of weakness,” Lenk said.
The rise in demand from China is also adding to the pressure, a situation the world market needs to get used to, said Lenk.
“China has bought a lot of product and no one knows if China will step in again after August,” he said. “The world market has to get used to that – China is playing an important role for importing product now.”
While China is still producing, the demand is high and its import attitude has changed. The country bought huge volumes from India in the first six months of the year.