India's seafood exports increase 13% despite fall in global shrimp prices

India exported seafood worth $5.64 billion during the first 10 months of 2017-18, compared to $4.98 billion a year ago, registering a growth rate of 13.27 per cent. The increase in exports is despite an oversupply from major shrimp-producing nations and stringent testing norms. Quantity-wise, India exported 1,085,378 tonnes of seafood till January in FY18 against 954,744 tonnes shipped in the corresponding period of FY17. The growth in quantity was 13.68 per cent.

“India’s export of seafood remained on the upward curve despite a fall in global shrimp prices triggered by an oversupply from 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,” said A Jayathilak, chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority.

“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 added.

The US, South East Asia and the EU continued to be the three major importers, while the demand from Japan registered a substantial increase during the period.

Frozen shrimp continued to be the top export item of the marine products basket with a share of 42.05 per cent in quantity and 69.95 per cent of the total earnings in dollar.

The US, which imported 203,837 tonnes of Indian seafood worth $1.917 billion, remained the major importer with a share of 33.99 per cent in dollar terms. Export of frozen shrimp to the EU region decreased by 6.98 per cent and 3.26 per cent in quantity and dollar value, respectively.

Japan emerged as the major market for Black Tiger shrimp with a share of 49.38 per cent in dollar terms, followed by the US (18.09 per cent) and South East Asia (15.06 per cent). Import by Japan, the fourth largest destination for Indian seafood, increased by 17.51 per cent in quantity and 6.7 per cent in dollar terms.

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