Agri Business

Seafood sector riding high on vannamei exports

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 28, 2015 Published on January 28, 2015

Shipments jump: Overall exports during April-November in the current fiscal are up 1.09 per cent in terms of quantity

Shipments to top $6-million-mark this fiscal on overall growth but China's imports less

Vannamei shrimp exports are helping the country's seafood sector grow fast, with the segment likely to touch the $6-billion-mark in the current financial year.

The sector, which crossed $5 billion last fiscal, is hopeful of reaching this target despite prices ruling sluggish in the export market and a firm rupee, sources in the seafood industry said.

Vannamei cultivation has started yielding results and achieving export target. This has helped the country emerge as the top exporter to the US. Vannamei shrimp farming was introduced in 2009 on a trial basis, as India lagged behind Vietnam and Thailand.

Robust exports

Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda data show that overall exports during April-November in the current fiscal are up 1.09 per cent in terms of quantity, 12 per cent in rupee value and 14 per cent in dollar terms.

Exports increased from $3,386.42 million to $3,857.46 million and from 6,60,534 tonnes to 6,67,727 tonnes. The growth is mainly attributed to the increase in exports of frozen shrimp, frozen cuttle fish, live and chilled items.

Shrimp contribution

Shrimp exports registered 18 per cent growth in terms of quantity, 25 per cent in rupee terms and 26 per cent in dollar earnings.

The increase was mainly due to growth in production and export of cultured Vannamei shrimp, which comprises 65 per cent of the total shrimp exports.

Of this, nearly 48 per cent was shipped to the US, Mpeda officials said.

With a target to become a $10-billion industry by 2020, the sector is pinning its hopes on larger aquaculture crop compared with last year.

Aquaculture shrimps have been the primary contributors to growth contributing a major chunk in total seafood exports in the last fiscal.

Aquaculture has emerged as a world phenomenon, as ocean catches world over are dwindling due to overfishing and swift changes of the ocean environment, sources said.

Export markets

Meanwhile, exports in the first eight months of the current fiscal to Japan, US, European Union, South-East Asia and West Asia registered growth.

The US is the biggest destination with a share of 27 per cent in dollar terms.

However, exports to China have dropped, thereby impacting export of culture shrimps. Weak economic conditions in China have been blamed for the fall.

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Published on January 28, 2015
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