November 14, 2013


India's shrimp export jumps nearly 70%


Fuelled by increased demand resulting from the global shortage of farmed shrimps, the share of shrimps in India's seafood exports has jumped from around 52% to nearly 70%.


Half-yearly export figures show close to 40% increase in export earnings at US$1.9 billion. The aquaculture production, particularly of vannamei shrimp in eastern coast farms, has gone up to meet the rising requirement.


The US continues to be the largest buyer with 32% share. If the current growth is sustained, India's marine products export may surpass its target of US$4.3 billion. An attack of early mortality syndrome in aquaculture farms within Thailand, China and Vietnam has led to depletion of shrimp stock in the world market.


Shortage has triggered an upswing in the price of vannamei shrimp which is in high demand. "The price of 30 count stock of vannamei has doubled to US$10/kg. It is mainly going to the US, South East Asia and Europe. The winter purchases for Christmas and New Year are getting over," said Anwar Hashim, managing director of Abad Fisheries.


The farms are producing more vannamei than black tiger prawns. The farmed shrimp production is expected to reach 30,000 tonnes this year. "The good production in the farms and the rising demand has helped exports considerably. If we reach around 30% growth, then we should reach the targeted US$4.3 billion for 2013-14," said a senior officer of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).


Depreciation of the Indian rupee has also aided seafood exports. The US' final decision not to impose countervailing duty on Indian shrimps, following the Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries' petition over subsidies in India which enabled exporters to sell shrimp at lower prices, may have given a further boost to exports to the US.


Seafood exporters say that annual seafood export will reach around US$4.5 billion.