Norway has become the world’s top seafood exporter after China transitioned from being the biggest seafood exporter to becoming a net importer, according to Rabobank International Senior Industry Analyst Gorjan Nikolik.

However, Ecuador’s shrimp industry is growing rapidly and may overtake Norway to become the world’s biggest seafood exporter within the next seven years. While Norway’s trade is largely focused on farmed salmon and Ecuador’s is built on its shrimp production, Nikolik said there are strong similarities between the two, chiefly in that Ecuador is a small country, with a very small domestic market, and it offers the perfect climate for the species it’s producing.

In recent times, Ecuador has become more dependent on supplying China, with some 60% of its shrimp exports now going to China.

Nikolik said that shrimp and salmon have been the global seafood trade’s two big leaders and both have done “fantastically well” over the past two years, each recording sales above USD 25 billion (EUR 23.3 billion).

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