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Feed giant puts money where its mouth is in Latin America

There is big potential in markets like Brazil and Mexico, but logistical challenges remain, CEO tells IntraFish.

Aquatic feed giant Vitapro, who supplies Ecuador with 450,000 metric tons a year of shrimp feed from its plants in Ecuador and Peru, expects to close 2017 with a market share of 35 percent.

It is already the largest supplier of shrimp feed in the country, where it operates through subsidiary Vitapro Ecuador, and is expanding in other areas of Latin America.

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The group is building a $12 million plant in Honduras with a capacity of 60,000 metric tons, expected to be operative in the fourth quarter of the year.

In addition, it is looking at other countries in the region, especially Mexico and Brazil, to establish itself. The market potential in those countries is big, Fabricio Vargas, managing director of Vitapro Ecuador told IntraFish, but there are logistical limitations, .

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In 2016, the marketshare of the company was 32 percent with 30 percent of that taken up by its contract with shrimp farmer Santa Priscila, who is a 25 percent shareholder in Vitapro’s Ecuadorian plant.

As giant feed producers Skretting, BioMar and Cargill establish themselves in the country, Vargas is confident the new competition will be positive for the industry as a whole, upping standards and bringing investment in alternatives.

“And I don’t think there will be a strong price battle, our product has always been more expensive and yet we have a higher market share, so I’m not very worried about prices with more competitors here,” Vargas said.

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This content originally appeared in IntraFish's AquaExpo 2017 blog.

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