China temporarily banned imports of shrimp from Saudi Arabia over a viral infection, a report said. The ban has been followed by 40 shrimp exporters from Iran being granted market access. China imported 23,048 MT of shrimp from Saudi Arabia in the first six months of this year, according to Chinese customs.

The temporary ban was announced on Aug. 2 by China’s General Administration of Customs and applies to Saudi Arabia’s National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA), according to Chinese media. NAQUA — Saudi Arabia’s largest aquaculture company — was previously the only Saudi firm permitted to export to China. No end date was given for the ban.

The temporary ban was shortly followed by market access being granted to the clutch of Iranian shrimp exporters.

Iran exports some 30,000 tons of shrimp annually with China its largest market. Among exporters granted permission to sell fisheries products to the country is shrimp processor Daryazad Seafood Products. According to its website, the firm is headquartered in Bushehr province, a coastal region on the Persian Gulf, and produces raw processed and value-added shrimp products.

Iranian veterinary authorities said China approved the exporters after they met Chinese laws, regulations and standards. The updated Chinese list including the firms was published on Aug. 14.

As official figures show, in 2018 China imported no shrimp directly from Iran. Iran’s exporters relied on sending shrimp to China through Vietnam in the absence of official export approval.

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