Mitsui invests US$360M in world's largest shrimp farming business
By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
Mitsui & Co. has invested US$360 million through a Singapore-based holding company in Ecuador-based Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila (IPSP), the largest shrimp farming company in the world.
This investment reflects an ongoing focus by Mitsui on the future of protein production and the group’s goal of becoming a leading global player in the shrimp industry by extending its reach up the value chain to upstream activities such as breeding, feed, and farming.
“Mitsui has identified Wellness Ecosystem Creation as one of its Key Strategic Initiatives in its Medium-term Management Plan 2026,” stated the company. “By providing healthy food, Mitsui will contribute to the improvement of people’s quality of life.”
“Through this investment, Mitsui will work to add value to the business cluster in the food and nutrition area, and aim to support the realization of people’s richer and brighter lives by enhancing health and wellbeing through food.”
This investment is also a strategic move by Mitsui as it works to form a Protein Business Cluster that focuses investment in the growing areas such as the shrimp and chicken value chains, and then pursuing synergies among the businesses.
As the global population grows, economies strengthen, and consumers continue to become more health-conscious, Mitsui has identified shrimp, with its low-calorie, high-protein content, short production cycle, and high feed conversion rate, as a key product in meeting the rising demand for sustainable protein.
In 2019, Mitsui invested in Vietnam’s Minh Phu Seafood, the world’s largest shrimp processing company, and has been working to strengthen its processing and sales business.
Kenichi Hori, representative director of Mitsui, said at the time, “Drawing on our global presence and business experience, we look forward to working with Minh Phu to expand production, enhance operations, and grow international sales. In our medium-term management plan, we have identified nutrition and agriculture as a strategic growth area for our business.”
“By increasing our investment in Minh Phu and supporting its growth strategy we aim to strengthen earnings from our food business, and respond to global demand for protein.”
Building upon this foundation, Mitsui is turning its eye toward expanding its presence in Ecuador, a region it refers to as the world’s center for shrimp farming exports, commanding a 25 percent share of world trade volume.
The global shrimp market is expected to grow to a value of US$69.35 billion by 2028, making it one of the most highly traded seafood species in the world, according to data from Research and Markets. Likewise, Rabobank anticipated that 2023 will be a record year for global shrimp production with global output having the potential to reach 6 million metric tons, and Ecuadorian shrimp production on pace to see growth of 18-30 percent this year.
IPSP controls 18,000 hectares of farming ponds with 100 percent traceability through in-house farming, producing frozen and processed shrimp products that are sold globally including in China, the U.S., Europe, and Ecuador. By 2022, the company accounted for 6 percent of global shrimp trade volume.
Together, Mitsui and IPSP’s founders will jointly collaborate to achieve increased productivity and efficiencies, to optimize operational excellence, and to best meet customers’ needs, while focusing on maintaining a focus on social responsibility, the environment, product quality, modernization, and growing the industry.