August 26, 2013


India's shrimp prices increase 60% due to low supply


Indian shrimp farmers have raised prices by about 60%, due to rising demand from exporters and declining production resulting from rain and early mortablity syndrome (EMS).


"The cost of shrimps has jumped to US$7.40/kilogramme from US$4.74 in about 20 days," said Manoranjan Panda, vice-president of Odisha Shrimp Farmers Association. Farmers in the state had low stocks, after huge losses in the last season due to restrictions on shrimp imports by Japan. This led to a fall in the supply of cultured shrimps this season.


Earlier, Japan had insisted on compulsory testing for ethoxyquin on shrimp consignments from India, citing that the level of the anti-oxidant was higher than the standard 0.01 parts per million (ppm).


"Exporters are unable to honour contracts due to low stocks. The prices have doubled compared to last year," said Gorachand Mohanty, president, Seafood Exporters Association of India (Odisha region).


Incessant rains in the major shrimp-producing hubs of Bhadrak and Balasore districts had added to woes, Mohanty added.


Exporters in the state are losing about US$1.57/kg as export rates had surpassed raw material prices. The supply crunch is also precipitated by low production due to early mortality syndrome disease in aquaculture farms. The drop in production has led to under-utilisation of processing plant capacities. On an average, processing units in the state were operating at about 15% capacity, Mohanty said.


"We are unable to take advantage of high international prices due to crop failure in Vietnam, Thailand, etc, because of short supplies," said Ramesh Mohapatra, president of the Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.