The main export market for Iranian shrimp

Table of Contents

The aquaculture industry is recognized as a vital and strategic industry for providing food, preserving natural resources and the environment, and creating jobs. The aquaculture industry consists of various sectors and provides a large percentage of the protein needed by society each year. Shrimp farming is one of the most important sub-sectors of aquaculture and its importance is growing day by day. In addition to the food security provided by shrimp farming, its economic and monetary value has made shrimp one of the ten most popular farmed species in the world. The significant per capita consumption of shrimp in countries such as America and Japan shows the growing demand for this product.

The name of the shrimp farming industry is associated with the countries of Southeast Asia, where the first attempts at shrimp farming were made in coastal areas using traditional methods. Today, shrimp farming is not limited to these countries and has become global. Let’s take a look at the available statistics to understand the scope of the shrimp farming industry.

Shrimp production in 2023

Statistics show that global shrimp production exceeded 5.5 million tons in 2023. This is an astonishing figure. The world’s leading shrimp producers are Ecuador, China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia, accounting for about 74 percent of global production. Countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines are in the next production ranks.

Although the volume of black tiger shrimp production in the world is increasing, the western white shrimp or Vannamei shrimp still dominates global production by a wide margin. Shrimp production is projected to grow 4% to 5.88 million metric tons by 2024.

In addition to the major producing regions of the world, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran also had a significant production rate in 2023 and produced a significant portion of the global shrimp.

An Overview of the Shrimp Farming Industry in Iran

The shrimp farming industry in Iran began in the late 1990s. Over the past three decades, the suitable coastal areas in the south and north of Iran have allowed this industry to develop and grow. The shrimp farming industry was first started in Khuzestan and Hormozgan. They had a total of seven farms and successfully produced 136 tons of shrimp. Now, shrimp farming is one of the most productive and profitable activities in provinces such as Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan, and Golestan. In 2021, approximately 57,000 tons of shrimp were produced by 800 farms in Iran. This figure increased to 60,000 tons in 2022. The growth and progress of this industry can be seen by comparing the production statistics of recent years with those of the early years.

The first species farmed in Iran were Green Tiger Shrimp, Black Tiger Shrimp, and Indian White Shrimp, which were eventually replaced by Vannamei Shrimp in 2004. Although Vannamei shrimp is not native to Iran, it was introduced as the dominant species in Iran due to its high resistance, better growth, and survival rates. It is currently considered the only farmed species in Iran.

Export of Iranian Shrimp

As mentioned earlier, Iran is one of the important potentials for shrimp production due to the proximity of the southern provinces of Iran to the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. According to FAO statistics, Iran ranked fourteenth in the world in shrimp production in 2017. Currently, Iran is among the top ten shrimp producers.

The high quality and delicious taste of Iranian shrimp make it popular, marketable and well positioned in the global market. Shrimp production in Iran has reached a level that not only eliminates the need to import shrimp, but also allows the country to export a significant percentage of its shrimp to other countries every year, thus achieving relatively high economic profits.

Iran exports shrimp to more than 20 countries. Southeast Asian countries and Persian Gulf countries are the main destinations of Iranian shrimp exports. In the first six months of 2023, Russia was the first importer of Iranian shrimp and 40% of the shrimp produced was exported to this country. The United Arab Emirates and China were the next most important countries. Lebanon, Egypt, Spain and France were also among the major export destinations of Iranian shrimp.

Bushehr Province produces more than 50% of Iran’s shrimp annually and ranks first in shrimp production in Iran. Shrimp farming in Bushehr begins in April and continues until late November or early December. More than 30000 tons of shrimp are harvested from the farms in each growing season, some of which is used for domestic consumption and much of which is exported.

Atlas Meigoo Khalij Fars Company in Bushehr Province is one of the farms producing high quality Vannamei shrimp. With its superior quality, it has secured a good position in the international market and provides healthy and unique product to the world market.


Iran and UAE trade chamber

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