December 10, 2014


Indian shrimp exports to reach US$6 billion target



India is on track to achieve its target to export US$6 billion worth of marine products this year, aided by such factors as a high demand in the US and the persistent shortage of farmed shrimp in Southeast Asian countries.


India's Marine Products Export Development Authority has estimated that the country's seafood exports during a seven-month period ending October 31 amounted to US$3.33 billion, or 17% higher than the same period in 2013.


Farmed shrimp, particularly of the Vannamei variety, is much in demand in Southeast Asia but they have yet to fully recover from the early mortality syndrome (EMS) disease, as well antibiotic problems.


L. Satyanarayana, president of the All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association, said Indian shrimp has so far escaped the ills that have befallen Thai and Vietnamese farmed shrimp. "The production in Thailand is not yet in full swing. Export of seafood has been hit by antibiotic problems in Vietnam," he said, adding that although a few Indian consignments were also rejected due to the presence of antibiotics, the "numbers are far too low to be of any concern".


Satyanarayana also noted that prices of shrimp have fallen from earlier levels this year. Thus, Vannamei shrimp is currently priced at Rs350-400 (US$ 5.65- 6.46) per kg of 40 pieces, down by Rs100-150 (US$ 0.016- 0.024).


The market is expected to pick up by the middle of January, said AJ Tharakan, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India.