October 5, 2011


India's shrimp harvest increases despite global shortage



India's shrimp farmers have seen an increase in production despite global shortage attributing to disease outbreaks, adverse weather, and crop delays.


In China, Thailand and Vietnam production is down, stated Anwar Hashim, the former President of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI). Disease outbreaks have affected Chinese and Vietnamese shrimp harvests while Thailand's has been washed away by floods.


Conversely, in India, the farmed shrimp production has been substantially higher, Hashim said.


In addition, the vannemei crop, which is becoming increasingly popular among Indian farmers, is of a significantly bigger size, he said, The Hindu reports.


At the same time, a higher aquaculture production has been offset by lower catches from the sea.


Meanwhile, the lower arrivals have kept shrimp prices firm in the global markets.


As of mid-June, the seasonal shrimp crop across Asia remained below that of the previous year.


The seasonal harvest peak of Thailand, the leading shrimp supplier to the entire international market, was only expected in July, delayed by flooding, and the production is expected to fall by 10% to 15%.


In Vietnam's Mekong Delta, shrimp farms have been struck by a mammoth outbreak of diseases. This has led to a lower output and a consequent raw material shortage, leaving regional processing plants operating only at 50% to 60% capacity.


In contrast, the situation was the reverse in South India, where bumper crops of vannamei shrimp were harvested in June and July. Processing plants have been forced to use two shifts to be able to operate at 150% to 200% of their capacity and deal with demand.


The US market continues showing a strong demand for the Indian shrimp without any dent in prices. India's large vannamei shrimp has been fetching higher prices.


India may even see its seafood exports rise from US$2.84 billion in 2010 to 2011 to US$4.7 billion by 2013 to 2014, thanks in part to aquaculture growth, plus other critical areas such as value-addition, modernising technology and exploiting new resources.

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