Agri Business

Shrimp output surges to feed seafood export boom

C J Punnathara Kochi | Updated on March 12, 2018



With increased production from aquaculture and good catch from the sea, it is boom time for Indian seafood industry. Seafood exports during the first six months this year surged by over 40 per cent compared to last year, Mr Anwar Hashim, former President of the Seafood Exporters' Association of India (SEAI) said.

Aquaculture has become the mainstay of seafood exports, accounting for 90 per cent of current shrimp exports. The first aquaculture harvest this year has been very good, including a bumper crop of vannammei shrimp, which was available to processing plants even far south in Kerala.

However, as there was also a good catch from the sea, prices in the coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh crashed, while the impact was less severe among the aquaculture farmers of Tamil Nadu, Dr Joseph Paul, aquaculture consultant said. However, prices are now looking up.

The US continues to be a bulk importer, and both vannammei and black tiger shrimp are exported in large quantities. However, Japan prefers black tiger, as it looks for taste and quality-based imports, Mr Hashim said. Exports to Japan are mainly sourced from aquaculture farms in West Bengal, Orissa and upper Andhra Pradesh — the home ground for black tiger shrimp in the country.

The export growth has been backed by a significant growth in volume and unit value realisation, according to some exporters. This was more pronounced for shrimp exports compared to other seafood items.

With Christmas and New Year round the corner, demand for Indian seafood remains quite strong in Europe and the US. There is good availability at Indian seafood processing plants to meet this demand, exporters pointed out. The demand remains unaffected by the slowdown in the US economy and an economic crisis looming in several European countries.

Published on October 14, 2011

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