Agri Business

Seafood to miss $6 b export target

KPM Basheer Kochi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 10, 2015


While Indian seafood exports have been on a roll for the last few years, mainly on the back of the upsurge in vannamei shrimp, exports value this financial year may fall short of the $6 billion target set by the Marine Products Exports Development Agency (Mpeda).

Though Mpeda will compile its figures only next month, sources, and the performance record for ten months until January, indicate that the value of seafood exports will be below $5.5 billion.

Export data

Exports last year topped a record $5 billion and authorities and exporters had hoped that a new record would be set this financial year.

The total value of the seafood exports in ten months was $4.72 billion. This is half a billion more compared with the value in the same period a year ago. In terms of quantity, 8.76 lakh tonnes were exported against 8.35 lakh tonnes a year ago. Frozen shrimp, which now makes up a third of seafood exports in terms of quantity and two-thirds in terms of value, continues to improve.

While the quantity exported increased by 17 per cent, the total value received rose by 20 per cent in dollar terms.

Vannamei, the star

Export figures show that the vannamei shrimp, which emerged as a star performer in the recent past, continues its dominance.

Of the total quantity of frozen shrimp, more than 80 per cent was vannamei shrimp, which is cultured extensively in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha.

Export markets

Indian vannamei has high demand in South-East Asia, US and the EU because of the low production in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Shrimp farms in Thailand are yet to recover from the Early Mortality Syndrome that had crippled them.

Volatile prices

Sources said that the hope of hitting the $6-billion mark this year, after the seafood exports crossed the $5-billion target last year, was dashed by price fluctuations in the global market.

The price of the vannamei fell substantially in the second half of last year.

Though the shipments quantity increased, the value did not rise proportionately.

The value and volume of frozen fish and dried items exports registered negative growth in the first ten months.

Also, squid shipments fell by 23.35 per cent in quantity and 28 per cent in terms of dollar value.

Published on March 10, 2015
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