Ecuador's global farmed shrimp exports totaled 206.8 million pounds in April, a 13 percent increase on the same month last year despite sharp falls in shipments to the United States and Europe.

This follows a new monthly record of 236.2 million pounds in March.

April numbers were underpinned by the continued strong post COVID-19 rebound in exports to China, where shipments climbed 49 percent to 129.1 million pounds following the abandonment of the Beijing government's COVID-19 zero tolerance policy.

Contrastingly, April shipments to the United states fell 24 percent to 31.7 million pounds, while exports to Europe were down 13 percent at 34.1 million pounds as orders to main markets in Spain, France and Italy saw double-digit declines.

In the opening four months of 2022, Ecuador's global shrimp shipments rose 21 percent to 858 million pounds, putting it on course for a yet another new annual record.

Again, much of this is owed to Chinese demand, with shipments 44 percent higher from January through April at 547 million pounds compared with the same period last year.

Prior to the global health crisis, the Ecuadorian industry announced its intention to reduce its dependence on China in favor of other markets, but Chinese demand has proved to be an unstoppable force.

Ecuador provides 70 percent of China's shrimp imports, compared with 18 percent for India.

Meanwhile, shipments to the United States were down 4 percent at 133.2 million pounds while exports to Europe dipped 7 percent to 127.9 million pounds in the first four months of the year.

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