The volume and value of Ecuador's shrimp exports slipped to their lowest level since February, suggesting a recent ban on some Ecuadorian producers' exports to China could be having an impact.
Export volumes to China were down more than 13 percent to 67 million pounds last month compared with August.
Similarly, the value of those exports fell close to 15 percent to $169.6 million (€152.5 million), according to figures from Ecuador's Camara Nacional de Acuacultura (CNA) trade body.
But both volumes and values were well ahead in September versus the same month a year earlier. Volumes climbed 471 percent, while the value of those consignments rose 437 percent.
Figures for September stand out because Ecuadorian exports have largely been on an upward curve in recent times, nearly doubling over the past three years.
Even so, Ecuador's total global shrimp exports march on, posting a 26 percent increase in September from a year earlier to 112 million pounds, while values were 15 percent higher at $284.1 million (€255.4 million).
Following negotiations between the Chinese and the Ecuadorian governments, China lifted a ban on imports on Ecuadorian shrimp farmer Omarsa that it had placed amid fear of yellow head disease. Ecuador says the disease is not present in the country.
However, four other exporters – Santa Priscila, Winrep, Expalsa, and PCC Congelados y Frescos – are still under the embargo over risks associated with other diseases, which are present in Ecuador, according to the World's Animal Health Organization (OMS).
CNA has so far not responded to a request for comment.