Argentine seafood sector

Argentine seafood sector is boosted by EU-Mercosur Agreement

Jul, 02, 2019 Posted by datamarnews

Week 201928

After the financing agreement between European nations and Mercosur, the Argentine seafood sector is ready for its access to the EU market.

According to industry sources, Argentina’s seafood industry is still in the process of assessing the full impact of the agreement, as there are few specific references to that issue in the document.

Besides China and the United States, Argentina sells a significant amount of its shrimp to markets in southern Europe.

Much of the deal’s fine prints are yet to come out. No tariffs on the fishing sector and species such as hake and Argentine red shrimp for a period of four to ten years, according to sources. The Illex squid will be less impacted by the agreement since taxes on this species are already very low.

Red shrimp

Argentina consumes only 5% of what it fishes, and Europe is one of their main seafood markets.

Argentine red shrimp is considered the sweetest shrimp in the world and is particularly popular among consumers in southern European countries such as Italy and Spain.

Argentina exported US$1.3bn of red shrimp last year, with US$385m of that going to the Spanish market, according to the Argentine Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture. After China, Argentina’s second-largest shrimp market was Italy, which recorded imports of US$162m. The product is also starting to gain popularity in the UK and US markets, according to the exporter Meridian Sea.

The free trade agreement will include a chapter on food safety, according to a document released by the European Commission (EC). Mercosur exporters will be required to obtain EU permission under the terms of the agreement and will be subject to health inspections.

The agreement also contains clauses on food sector sustainability. Argentina’s shrimp sector is undertaking a fisheries improvement project to obtain certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Argentina sells relatively few products to northern Europe, a factor that can be explained by the lack of certification.

The following DataLiner plot shows shipping trends of Argentina’s top three shrimp (HS 0306) exporting ports:

Source: Undercurrent News

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