August 18, 2008
Finfish plays more important role in Indian seafood export as shrimp falls
Shrimp is making up less of India's share of seafood exports while finfish exports are on the rise.
According to the Hindu Business Line, the share of shrimp of seafood exports in India by market value fell from 65 percent in 2003-04 to 52 percent  by 2007-08.
Meanwhile, the share of frozen finfish in Indian seafood export has gone up from 10 percent to 17 percent during the same time.
Cuttlefish exports have also risen from 6 per cent to 10 percent, the paper noted.
China has traditionally been a major export destination of cheap frozen fish from India. However, in recent years, the Indian seafood industry has also diversified into tuna, sashmi and other value-added products.
This diversification meant a slight retreat in market share for the four major seafood export items shrimp, frozen finfish, cuttlefish and squid whose share of the market fell from 88 percent in 2003-04 to 84 percent in  2007-08.
The fall in shrimp exports was attributed to a fall in shrimp aquaculture and fewer landings from fishing vessels in India.
A drop in export to India's biggest shrimp market, the US, due to anti-dumping duties have also affected the trade. The US accounted for 41 percent of India's shrimp exports in 2003-04, this was down to 19 percent by 2007-08.
But this was offset by increased demand from the EU. The EU market now accounts for 37 percent of India's shrimp exports, up from just 16 percent in 2003-04, making the region more important to Indian shrimp than the US.

Meanwhile, the Japanese market for Indian shrimp has also been falling due to a slower economy. Japan, which used to account for 27 percent of India's shrimp exports, now accounts to 22 percent.

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