October 27, 2008
Despite nearby Christmas and New Year festivities, seafood exporters, particularly in India, have little to cheer about as global shrimp prices continue to shrink coupled with sluggish demand worldwide and the sharp appreciation of dollar against the rupee.
Mr. Abraham Tharakan, Vice-Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said smaller trade players, despite being active in short-term markets, do not stand to gain much since importers have already discounted the appreciation in the dollar during price negotiations.
However, sources say India may not significantly lose amid the slowdown due to peak-season export contracts before Christmas and New Year with the execution of pre-determined price and letter of credits.
If the shipping process continues unhampered for another fortnight, most of these Indian seafood consignments would be on the high seas.
Seafood commands premium prices internationally, particularly shrimp, cuttlefish and squid. Trade players believe that these species would be hardly hit during global recession as purchasing power, especially from the developed countries, is significantly reduced.
Though exporters are confident that export volumes may not be significantly hit this year, the same cannot be said of foreign exchange earnings, the trade sources conclude.