October 30, 2008
 
India Aqua Weekly: Indian seafood exports escape global recession for now (Week ended October 28, 2008)
 
An eFeedLink Exclusive
 
 
Price Summary
 
Fish prices were mixed.
 
Prices of prawn category "B" and "C" were stable this week while prices for prawn Category A was down RS.  1, 000 per 100 kg,
 
All other varieties of  Hilsa and Rahu (Andhra) and Rahu (Local) saw a price hike of Rs. 500, Rs.  200 and Rs.  800 per 100 kg respectively.
 
 
Market Analysis
 
India's seafood industry is not expected to lose significantly despite the global slow down and sluggish prices. This is because the peak-season export contracts for Christmas-New Year had been tied up a couple of months back on pre-determined prices, Letter of Credits have been opened and most of those contracts are being executed, the sources said.
 
If the shipping process continues unhampered for another fortnight, most of these Indian seafood consignments would be on the high seas.
 
While most seafood in general commands a premium in international markets, items such as shrimps, cuttlefish and squid are considered delicacies and command even higher prices in the global markets. And these would be the first to take a hit in the event of global recession. As the purchasing power among the people of developed countries begins to shrink, it is upper end products which would be hit the hardest.
 
With bounteous catch reported along the coastline, especially the West coast, the global showdown has come at a most unfavorable time for Indian exporters. The demand is slowing down the prices are falling and the margins are coming under pressure.
 
Exporters were confident that the export volumes may not be hit significantly this year. But the same cannot be said of foreign exchange earnings.

Global shrimp prices continue to slump
 
Global shrimp prices continue to reign low, with demand from Europe, US and Japan becoming sluggish. As the festive season of Christmas and New Year draws near, the seafood exporters have little to cheer about, but for the sharp appreciation of the dollar against the Indian rupee. 
 
The exchange rate bonanza is limited to a few big players who have open positions and stand to gain from the appreciation of the dollar, sources in the seafood trade said.
 
"The smaller players who are active in the short-term markets do not stand to gain much since the importers would have already discounted the appreciation in the US dollar when negotiating the price," Mr. Abraham Tharakan, Vice Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said.

India harvests organic shrimp
 
The world's first organic aquaculture harvest of the large fresh water prawn, scampi is slated to be held besides the backwaters of Kerala on November 1, 2008.
 
The project for organic black tiger and scampi is being implemented with the assistance of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in collaboration with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland.
 
The Indian Organic Aquaculture Project was first initiated in January 2007 in the maritime States of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala to pursue the huge market potential of selling aquaculture products in the European markets.
 
Certification is mandatory for selling organic products across the world and Naturland of Germany has been chosen as the certifying agency and Indocert in Kerala is the inspection body for the project. 
     
Rosen Fisheries Hatchery was chosen for the production of organic seeds and it has produced 1.150 million organic seeds so far. Of this, 340,000 seeds were supplied to four farmers in Kerala and the remaining to the farmers in Andhra Pradesh. Two other hatcheries, Queens hatchery and St. John Bosco hatchery had been later selected for organic seed production of which Queens hatchery has commenced production of organic scampi seeds.  
 
 
Market forecast
 
Prices of fisheries are likely to remain stable or slightly with variation in prices in the coming week as compared to the current week.
 
Weekly transacted prices of major seafood species in India
Varieties
Prices as of Oct 22
(Rs/ 100 kg)
Prices as of Oct 29
(Rs/ 100 kg)
Price change
(Rs/ 100 kg)
Hilsa
21,500
22,000
500
Rahu (Andhra)
5,400
5,600
200
Rahu (Local)
7,000
7,800
800
Prawn zambo a
30,000
29,000
  - 1, 000  
Prawn zambo b
22,500
22,500
Stable
Prawn zambo c
13,500
13,500
Stable
US $ 1 = Rs. 48.945 (Oct 30, 2008)
 


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