Indian Seafood Export Touches New High At $7.08 Billion

KOCHI: Striking a new high, India’s seafood export at 13, 77,244 tonnes earned Rs 45, 106.89 crore in 2017-18.

The quantity was up by 21.35% while the value rose 19.1% over the previous year. In dollar terms the export fetched $ 7.08 billion as against $5.77 billion a year ago with frozen shrimp and fish continuing to dominate the export basket.

USA and South East Asia retained their positions as the major import markets of India’s seafood products, with a share of 32.76% and 31.59% in dollar terms, respectively, followed by EU (15.77%), Japan (6.29%), Middle East (4.10%) and China (3.21%).

“In the face of continued uncertainties in the global seafood trade, India has been able to cling on to its position as a leading supplier of frozen shrimp and frozen fish in international markets. With a string of initiatives and policy support, we intend to achieve an export target of $10 billion by 2022,” said Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) chairman A. Jayathilak.

Despite the daunting challenges of oversupply, as reflected in double-digit shrimp exports by Ecuador and Argentina in 2017, increased supply from Vietnam and Thailand, drop in global shrimp prices, and issues related to antibiotic residues, India’s seafood industry has been maintaining its growth streaks, he added.

Frozen shrimp maintained its position as the key contributor to seafood export basket, accounting for 41.10% in quantity and 68.46% of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the year rose by 30.26% in quantity and 30.10% in dollar terms.

The overall export of shrimp during 2017-18 stood at 5, 65,980 tonnes. The export of Vannamei shrimp grew 22.02% to 4, 02,374 tonnes in 2017-18. Japan was the major market for black tiger shrimps.

Frozen fish, the second largest export item, contributed 25.64% in quantity and 10.35% in earnings. However, the unit value realisation decreased to $ 2.08 a kg in 2017-18 from $ 2.27 in 2016-17.

While the export of chilled items showed a decline, frozen cuttlefish registered a growth in exports. The unit value realization also improved remarkably by 15.64%.

Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Kolkata, Pipavav, Krishnapatanam and JNP were the major ports for the marine products cargo.

 

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