Mozambican authorities seek alternative market for shrimp

30 June 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 30 June – The Mozambican authorities are trying to place shrimp on the United States’ market after a sharp fall in prices in the European Union, Mozambique’s minister for Trade and Industry told the mediaFAX newspaper.

One of the country’s main export products, shrimp, over the last 14 years has earned Mozambique around US$1 billion, but the flooding of the EU market with farmed shrimp, produced at a low cost compared to wild shrimp exported by Mozambique, has made the average price fall by US$10 per kilogramme to around US$6.

António Fernando told mediaFAX that, considering what was happening in the EU market, there was no other solution than to try to find an alternative market, and that the USA was the most interesting prospect.

“We are working to place our shrimp in the US market and everything point to our being able to do so soon, adding value to a product that generates foreign reserves for the country,” The minister said.

Shrimp has been Mozambique’s biggest export in several years, such as in 1994 and the five following years.

However, in 2000, that situation changed when the country began exporting electricity and, the following year, with the sale of aluminium ingots produced at the Mozal foundry.

In 2008, around 5,400 tonnes of shrimp were caught and exported, as compared to almost 9,000 tonnes exported in 2000, which were mainly sent to Spain, Portugal and France. (macauhub)