December 9, 2008
India Aqua Weekly: Seafood exporters urged to focus on value-added products (week ended Dec 7, 2008)
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Price Summary
A mixed trend was seen this week. The maximum gainer was Prawn (b) category of INR1, 000 per 100 kgs.
The other gainers were Hilsa, Rahu (local), Rahu (Andhra) with a price range of INR500, INR500 and INR100 respectively.
However, the price of Prawn Zambo (a) and (c) categories remained stable.
Market Analysis
Value-added marine exports should grow by at least 10 percent a year in order to earn Indian seafood exports US$4 billion by 2012, G. Mohan Kumar, chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said.
Addressing a stakeholders meeting at Tuticorin, he said that the Technology Upgrade Scheme for Marine Products (TUSMP) would be a primary growth driver of exports in the coming years.
Narrating the salient features of TUSMP, Kumar asked exporters to focus on value-added marine products. Marine exports from Tuticorin region saw steady growth over the years - from INR550 million in 1991-92 to INR6, 520 million in 2007-08.
The region contributes 10 percent of the country's total marine exports in value. The value of exports from Tuticorin had set an all time record of 30,611 tonnes in 2006-07 valued at INR7, 350 million.
To boost tuna production, MPEDA has been making concerted efforts to convert vessels into tuna long-liners and extending on-board training programmes, especially for handling yellow fin-tuna for producing sashmi.
The department wanted the exporters to produce more value-added products from yellow fin tuna.
The exporters said introducing the exotic shrimp species, vannamei, was expected to enable the domestic trade to compete in the international seafood trade.
MPEDA also discussed issues regarding the cultivation of vannamei under controlled conditions in India.
Oceanaa signs pact for shrimp hatchery
Oceanaa Group's Oceanic Edibles International Ltd. has signed a tripartite pact with Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and a group of farmers for shrimp hatchery.
According to the agreement, IOB will extend loans to shrimp farmers in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry who, under contract farming scheme of Oceanic Edibles, will culture shrimps. Oceanic will supply these farmers with seeds, feed and technology support and will also buy back prawns for further processing and export.
According to A. Joseb Raj, managing director of Oceanaa Group, international buyers are scornful of Indian shrimps because of the shrimps muddy tang and a lingering smell of antibiotics. He claimed that Oceanic is in possession of a technology that eliminates the disagreeable tang - a factor that helped it get the bank loan.
This contract farming will ensure traceability and more transparency to the export market right from the purchase of brood-stock, hatchery, farming and processing. "With the help of a new software developed, Oceanaa will ensure availability of all traceability records to the buyer", he said. 
The Oceanaa Group is a diversified entity with business interests in food processing and the IT sector. The group is a major player in farming and processing of aqua shrimps.
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 30
(Rs/ 100 kg)

Prices as of Dec 6
(Rs/ 100 kg)

Price change
(Rs/ 100 kg)


Rs,    20, 000

Rs,    20, 500


Rahu (Andhra)

Rs.      5, 000

Rs.      5, 100


Rahu (Local)

Rs.      7, 500 

Rs.      8, 000


Prawn zambo a

Rs.    30, 000

Rs.    30, 000


Prawn zambo b

Rs.    21, 500

Rs.    22, 500

 1, 000 

Prawn zambo c

Rs.    12, 500 

Rs.    12, 500


US $ 1 = Rs. 49.050 (Dec 9, 2008) 


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