KOCHI: Strengthening its position as a leading supplier of quality frozen shrimp and frozen fish in international markets, India exported 10,85,378 MT of seafood valued at Rs 35,916.60 crore during the first 10 months of FY 2017-18 as against 9,54,744 MT and Rs 32,620.03 crore, respectively a year earlier, registering a growth of 13.68 per cent in quantity and 10.11 per cent percent in value.
In dollar terms, exports were pegged at $5.64 billion during April 2017-January 2018 as compared to $4.98 billion during the same period in the previous fiscal, marking a 13.27% growth. US, South East Asia and the European Union (EU) continued to be the three major importers while the demand from Japan registered substantial increase during the period, according to an official release.
“India’s exports of seafood remained on the upward curve despite a fall in global shrimp prices triggered by oversupply from the major shrimp-producing countries and more stringent test regimes imposed by the EU to detect antibiotic residues in frozen shrimp consignments. Also, we had to face competition from countries like Ecuador and Argentina,” the release quoted MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak as saying.
“Still, we were able to sustain the growth momentum on export front, which is a proof of the resilience of India’s seafood sector. We have initiated steps for export-oriented organic shrimp production, and launched new strategies to boost aquaculture and improve vigilance to stop faulty consignments,” he
Frozen shrimp continued as the top export item of marine products basket, with a share of 42.05% in quantity and 69.95% of the total earnings in dollar. The overall exports of shrimp, which was to the tune of 4,56,404 MT (as against 378355 MT in the previous fiscal) valued at USD 3,946.30 million, grew by 20.63% in quantity and 21.61% in dollar terms.
The largest markets for India’s frozen shrimp were US (1,87,873 MT), South East Asia (1,27,525 MT), EU (62,164 MT), Japan (28,064 MT), Middle East (15,801 MT) and China (9533 MT). In particular, the export of Vannamei shrimp improved from 2,89,826 MT to 3,32,415 MT in Apr 2017-Jan 2018 with a growth of 14.69% in quantity. Japan emerged as the major market for Black Tiger shrimp with a share of 49.38% in dollar followed by USA (18.09%) and South East Asia (15.06%).
Export of frozen fish stood at 279,642 MT as against 250,465 MT a year earlier, showing a growth of 11.65% in quantity and 3.93% in terms of dollar but frozen squiddeclined by 12.83%, 18.35% and 14.98%, respectively in terms of quantity, rupee value and dollar earnings. However, exports of dried seafood items registered an uptick with figures of 80.63% and 15.81% in terms of quantity and rupee value, respectively.
US, which imported 2,03,837 MT of Indian seafood worth 1,917.38 million dollars in the current financial year, remained the major importer with a share of 33.99% in dollar terms while exports to that country registered a growth of 26.53%, 23.84%, 29.13% in terms of quantity, rupee and dollars, respectively.