Along with shrimp farming company, Naturisa, Cargill has agreed to partner with Skyvest EC Holding SA to create a new JV targeted at the Ecuadorian shrimp farming market. The rationale for the alliance is increased market requirements for high performing shrimp diets.
The agribusiness giant said it will nearly double its shrimp-feed production capabilities in Ecuador through this JV.
Cargill originally teamed up with Naturisa in 2015; the two entities partnered to construct and operate a shrimp-feed manufacturing facility under the name Aquacargill del Ecuador.
“Since that time, the Ecuadorian shrimp farming industry has continued to grow, and there is a need to meet the increased demand for high-quality feed,” said Helene Ziv-Douki, president of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business.
The new deal will see Cargill own and operate a shrimp-feed production facility currently in the hands of Skyvest subsidiary, Empagran. The plant is located in Guayaquil, was built in 2018 and has production capacity of 156,000 metric tons. Some 200 people are employed at the site.
“Through this joint venture, Cargill will nearly double its production capacity. We will invest in this facility and expand our offering of shrimp feeds under the Cargill’s Aquaxcel brand,” said Angel Gomez, managing director of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business in northern Latin America.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the coming months.
Skretting focused on shrimp trials
Last month, we spoke to a Skretting executive as it opened its aquaculture innovation center in Guayaquil. The research facility has been designed to perform trials on whiteleg shrimp.
The fish feed manufacturer outlined how the new €6.1m R&D station, Skretting AI Guayas, was also aimed at fast-tracking the shrimp farming industry’s introduction of more sustainable and innovative feeds, allowing the company to expand its knowledge of nutrition and health for that species, eventually applying that intelligence on-the-ground in Ecuador.
The Latin American country is fast becoming one of the major shrimp-producing countries globally, said Skretting’s innovation director, Alex Obach.
Delegates at the Global Shrimp Forum 2022, held in Utrecht last month, heard from Kontali that, in 2021, India was still number one, with just over 1m metric tons of live shrimp equivalent export volume while Ecuador was next in line, with a little under 1m metric tons exported. However, industry insiders expect Ecuador to be the leading shrimp exporter in 2022, added Obach.