India seafood exports records 10% fall in FY16

After agri and spice exports, India’s seafood exports also witnessed a fall. This when the Asian nation has set an ambitious target of exporting seafood worth Rs one lakh crore over the next five years.

Seafood exports have been growing sustainably over the last 7-8 years. In FY 16 however, the trend reversed. A 10% fall in quantity and 9% in value was noted. In terms of dollar, the fall was nearly 15%.

Good news is that the US and South East Asia continue to remain the top importers of seafood from India. Frozen shrimp remained the popular export item followed by frozen fish.

MPEDA chairman A Jayalathik alleged that the fall in seafood exports was due to Euro depreciation, China’s poor economic condition, Yen devaluation and more. He also attributed the decline in exports due a fall in capture fishery when he addressed media persons on Friday (26th July). A fall in wild shrimp landing was another reason. From 3,89,007 tonnes in the previous year, it fell to 3,48,296 tonnes in 2015.

The revitalisation of aquaculture production, specifically shrimp in Thailand and Vietnam has ensured abundant supply in the global market. The result? A drop in shrimp prices worldwide including India. To specify, the average price realisation of shrimp is now $8.28/kg as compared to the $10.38 in FY15.

Vannamei shrimp bucked the current seafood export trend in FY 16. From 2,22,176 tonnes, Vannamei shrimp exports grew to 2,56,699 tonnes in FY16. A growth rate of 16% was registered.

The US accounted for 50% of India’s Vannamei shrimp exports followed by South-east countries at 17.25%, EU at 15.78%, Japan at 4.55%, West Asia at 3.62%, China at 2.23% and the remaining 6.40% is accounted for by other countries.

Japan is the leading export market for India’s black tiger shrimp. The nation accounts for 37.04% of tiger shrimp exports from India. It is followed by the US (20.56) and South-East Asia (19.28).

MPEDA has set a target for $5.6 billion for seafood exports in FY 17. The authority hopes a combination of factors such as enhanced black tiger shrimp and Vannamei shrimp production, diversification of aquaculture species, especially Mangrove crab and Tilapia, quality control measures and increase in infrastructure facilities for production of value-added products will help achieve the target.

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