December 4, 2008
India Aqua Weekly: Market braces for weakening of global shrimp prices (week ended Nov 30, 2008)
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Price Summary
A mixed trend was seen for this week in the fish prices.
The most popular fish varieties in India are Hilsa, Rahu (Andhra), Rahu (Local), Prawn Zinga - three varieties as per weight size in category A, B and C.
Prices of Prawn Zambo (b), (c) and Rahu (Andhra) with dropped by Rs. 1,000, Rs. 500 and Rs. 100 respectively.
Hilsa and Rahu (Local) gained a little by Rs. 500 and Rs. 200 respectively. However, the price of Prawn Zambo (a) category was remained stable in the last 10 days.
Market Analysis
International shrimp prices, which were already depressed before the financial crisis, are likely to weaken further during the course of the year, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization said.
The import demand from the EU, US and Japan are likely to slow down and prices are likely to weaken further.
The EU, which until recently was an exception against the depressed shrimp markets of Japan and the US, has also begun to show signs of weakness.
The volume of shrimp imports into the EU was down 10 percent during the first half of 2008 to 3, 37, 600 tonnes.
While France alone was able to increase its purchases, countries such as Italy and Spain registered massive declines, a report by the Seafood Exporters Association of India said.
With shrimp prices remaining weak and demand falling, shrimp production from both caught and farmed sources is expected to contract, as many Asian as well as South and Central American producers are reducing output.
While India has just commenced vannamei shrimp cultivation, countries such as Thailand are cutting down on vannamei cultivation and shifted to black tiger farming. Farmers in Thailand say that while vannamei cultivation is becoming unprofitable under the present circumstances, black tiger cultivation is becoming more profitable.
Squid prices also continue to remain low due to limited buying interest by Japan and the rush by Argentine squid fishing fleet to sell at discounted prices, the report said. This situation is expected to continue until early 2009.
Prospects for fish production in 2009 now point to a limited growth as weakening demand is expected to depress prices.
Lakshadweep gets nod for 110 - tonne fishing vessel
Following the sanction by the Finance Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, India's governement has approved the acquisition of a 100-tonne fishing mother vessel of Lakshadweep at Rs. 300 million.
The news of acquiring the mother vessel has brought cheer to the fishing community of the islands. The mother vessel would be the mother of future fisheries in Lakshadweep, said Mr. B.V. Selvaraj, administrator to the territory.
The Lakshadweep Administration would be breaking new path in the fisheries sector by bringing in the first mother vessel, which all the coastal regions in the country can emulate. Mother vessels and factory vessels have revolutionized the fishing industries of several maritime countries including immediate neighbors such as Maldives.
Long distances and lack of proper storage facilities have been hampering the exploitation of fishing resources from the northern islands of Lakshadweep as well as along reefs such as Cheriyapani and Valiyapani, an official spokesman for the Administration said.
"The further they move out, the more fish they catch. But more of it gets wasted due to the long periods in transits and absence of processing and preservation," he added.
Mother vessels with facilities for freezing and cold storage are an ideal option for enhancing the fish production from the islands. The vessel is expected to have facilities such as plate freezers, blast freezers and cold storage for processing the fish and keeping it fresh for longer periods of time. It could also help in taking a large number of smaller fishing boats to distant fishing grounds on a 10 - 15 day trip.
Indian Maritime University ties up with global schools
The newly formed Indian Maritime University (IMU) has tied up with five international institutions and with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad and Bangalore to offer various maritime related courses.
IMU has tied up with Dalian Maritime University (for MBA in Port Management), with Shanghai Maritime University and Antwerp University (for MBA in international transportation and logistics management), with University of Malta (for degree in maritime law) and with Delft University, Netherlands (for degree course in dredging), according to the university's first Vice-Chancellor, Dr. P. Vijayan.
It has tied up with IIM, Ahmedabad, for a one-year fast track executive MBA in maritime management and with IIM, Bangalore, for a certificate course in management for senior seafaring officers, said Dr. Vijayan, who was the director of National Maritime Academy, Chennai.
Market Forecast
Prices of fisheries are likely to remain stable with hardly any variation in prices in the coming week as compared to the current week.

Weekly transacted prices of major seafood species in India


Prices as of Nov 21
(Rs/ 100 kg)

Prices as of Nov 30
(Rs/ 100 kg)

Price change
(Rs/ 100 kg)


Rs,    19, 500

Rs,    20, 000


Rahu (Andhra)

Rs.      5, 100

Rs.      5, 000


Rahu (Local)

Rs.      7, 300 

Rs.      7, 500


Prawn zambo a

Rs.    30, 000

Rs.    30, 000


Prawn zambo b

Rs.    22, 500

Rs.    21, 500

 -1, 000 

Prawn zambo c

Rs.    13, 000

Rs.    12, 500


US $ 1 = Rs. 49.780 (Dec 4, 2008)

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