Indian aquaculture stocks such as Waterbase Ltd, Venky’s India, and Apex Frozen Foods have witnessed significant gains, thanks to reports of China’s suspension of all aquatic imports from Japan.

The share price of Apex Frozen Foods Ltd rose by ₹ six to ₹224, Waterbase Ltd price moved up ₹ five to ₹85 even in a weak market. Zeal Aqua Ltd, small stocks from this segment also moved by three per cent, said Akshay Agarwal, managing director of the Kochi-based Acumen Capital Market. However, some stocks in this segment are trading slightly lower from yesterday’s close price. If the ban sustains, it will positively impact those companies exporting seafood and aquaculture products to China, he added.

Treated water discharge

According to Agarwal, the decision of the Chinese authorities to ban seafood imports follows the announcement of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on their plans to discharge about 1.3 million tonnes of treated wastewater from the trashed Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean as part of de-commissioning of the plant. Japanese government maintains that discharging of the treated water is safe and the UN’s nuclear watchdog has already given green signal to this move.

Vincent KA, research analyst at Geojit said the current suspension of Japanese imports will be beneficial for other supplier countries including India. China is the second largest importer of aquatic products followed by the US. Japan exported $600 million worth of seafood to China last year.

How India is going to benefit from the current import ban is yet to be seen as the country is a major supplier of shrimps, while China imports mainly fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic invertebrates, dried, salted and smoked fish etc, said K Dinesh, Head of Aquaculture Department, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies.

There might be a possibility to replace the imports with Indian products in the wake of the ban. However, the reported slowdown in the Chinese economy may hinder imports as they have reduced all kinds of shipments, he added.