KOCHI: India shipped 13,69,264 MT of seafood worth Rs 57,586.48 crore ($7.76 billion) during 2021-22, despite heavy odds. The exports improved in rupee terms by 31.71%, in US dollar terms by 30.26%, and in quantity by 19.12% from the previous year. In 2020-21, India had exported 11,49,510 MT of seafood worth Rs 43,720.98 crore ($5.957 billion).
Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in terms of quantity and value while the US and China turned out to be the major importers of India’s seafood. KN Raghavan, chairman of Kochi-based Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said India managed to do all-time-high exports in value and volume of seafood despite the several challenges in its major export markets caused by the Covid pandemic.
Export targets set by the Union department of commerce are also met by 99.4%, he said.
Frozen shrimp, which earned Rs 42,706.04 crore ($5,828.59 million), retained its position as the most significant item in the basket of seafood exports, accounting for a share of 53.18% in quantity and 75.11% in the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 31.68% in USD value and 23.35% in quantity.
The overall export of frozen shrimps during 2021-22 was pegged at 7,28,123 MT, which fetched a foreign exchange worth $5,828.59 million. The USA, the largest market, imported (3,42,572 MT) of frozen shrimp, followed by China (1,25,667 MT), European Union (90,549 MT), Southeast Asia (44,683 MT), Japan (38,492 MT), and the Middle East (37,158 MT). Export of frozen shrimp increases by value.
The export of Vannamei (white leg) shrimp increased from 5,15,907 MT to 6,43,037 MT in 2021-22. Of the total Vannamei shrimp exports in dollar value terms, the USA accounted for 59.05%, followed by China (14.59 %), European Union (8.16 %), Southeast Asia (4.78 %), Japan (3.61 %), and the Middle East (3.17 %).
The USA also turned out to be the major market for Black Tiger shrimp with a share of 25.90% in terms of USD value, followed by the European Union (23.78%) and Japan (22.71%). Other items, the second largest export item, fetched Rs 3,979.99 crore ($540.73 million), accounting for 12.96% in quantity and 6.97% in dollar earnings. The export of other items increased by 43.8% in rupee value and 42.94% in dollar value. Other items comprise surimi and surimi analog products by 56.55% in USD terms.
China emerged as the second-largest seafood export destination from India in terms of quantity with an import of 2,66,989 MT worth $1,175.05 million, accounting for 19.50% in quantity and 15.14% in dollar terms. Exports to China market grew by 22.28% in quantity and 31.09% in rupee value and 25.12% USD value. Frozen shrimp, the major item of exports to China, had a share of 47.07% in quantity and 67.04% in dollar value while the frozen fish had a share of 32.10% in terms of quantity and 15.19% in terms of value out of the total exports to China. Frozen shrimp to China has shown positive growth by quantity and volume.
European Union continued to be the third-largest destination for Indian seafood with frozen shrimp, the major item of exports, registering an increase of 29.11% and 37.09% in quantity and dollar value, respectively. Exports to the Middle East also showed a growth of 20.2% in quantity, 21.27% in rupee value and 20.7% in dollar terms.