June 10, 2013


India's vannamei shrimp exports grow in 2012-13



India's exports of vannamei variety of shrimps, farmed in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, reached US$730 million during 2012-13,  against US$385 million in the previous year.


India exported a record 91,000 tonnes of vannamei shrimps (40,787 tonnes during 2011-12), helping total seafood exports increase 5% in quantity and 12% in earnings.


Frozen shrimps, including other varieties, constitute 50% of the value of total seafood exports, and India exported 1.89 lakh (189,000) tonnes of the produce, earning INR81.75 billion (US$1.4 billion).


Seafood export figures for the last financial year are yet to be officially released by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). India exported 8.62 lakh (862,000) tonnes of seafood worth INR165.97 billion (US$2.88 billion) last financial year.


A leading seafood exporter here said that vannamei, still an exotic variety in India and less than six years old in the country, had had a major impact on seafood business - for farmers and exporters.


Farmers had earned an average INR300/kg (US$5) of shrimp, MPEDA sources said here.

Vannamei shrimps, also called pacific white shrimp and native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, emerged on the scene with a strong showing for productivity. Export figures have been impressive since 2010-11 when India exported 12,407 tonnes.


The steep rise in production has been supported by remarkable increase in acreage under vannamei farming. MPEDA accounts put the total area under vannamei farming at 22,715 hectares. However, seafood exporters, some of whom are involved in aquaculture, estimate that there may at least be 50,000 hectares under farming.


The economics of vannamei farming worked in favour of the farmers, who were now abandoning traditional black tiger shrimp farming, said a seafood exporter.


Vannamei productivity is about 10 tonnes a hectare. The first year of vannamei farming involves an investment of about INR1.6 million/hectare (US$28,000). Earnings in six months can be as much as INR2.5 million (US$43,000) at an average price of INR250/kg (US$4). The next cycle involves an investment of about INR1.2 million (US$21,000), including the INR1 million (US$17,000) that go into the feed.