December 30, 2008
India Aqua Weekly: Seafood exports to plummet as prices weaken (week ended Dec 28, 2008)
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Price Summary
All the major varieties of Hilsa, Rahu (Andhra) and Prawn (a), (b) and (c) were the gainers in the last week of the year 2008.
Major gainers were Prawn (a) category with Rs. 2,000 per 100 kgs, followed by Prawn (b) with Rs. 1,500.
Hilsa was also the gainer with Rs. 1,000 per 100 kgs., followed by Prawn (c) category with INR 500.00.
The Andhra (Rahu) variety gained slightly Rs. 200 per 100 kgs, whereas, the other variety of Rahu (local) remained stable for the last fortnight as comparison with last week's rates.
Market Analysis
With the financial crisis unlikely to die down in some time, the situation of India's seafood export industry is set to worsen as prices of most items have sharply dropped, says the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).

It is a grave scenario for products such as shrimp and squid, which make up most of the seafood export basket.

An outlook published by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said shrimp prices, which are already low because of the economic slowdown, would weaken further as the import demand would be low.

While the US and Japanese markets have been gloomy in the recent years, EU has been a ray of hope for shrimp exporters. However, latest estimates indicate the EU market is also facing problems in importing seafood. Shrimp import by EU nations had dropped by 20 percent to 337,600 tonnes in the first six months of this year. There had been a massive drop in imports by Spain and Italy and the only country that had increased the intake was France.

Squid prices also remained low in global markets mainly due to the low buying interest showed by Japan.

According to the FAO outlook, rush by the Argentine squid fishing fleet to sell at discounted prices, has also caused a decline in the prices of squid in the global market in recent months.

Prices of farmed species such as European sea bream and turbot have fallen to record low levels, thanks to huge increase in production. The report also said prices of wild white fish, yellow fin Tuna and farmed Salmon and Tilapia remained more or less the same and catfish prices, which tumbled earlier this year, are recovering. The low price regime is likely to continue till January 2009 when new fishing season in South West Atlantic begins, the report said.

The current crisis has already crippled the export prospects of India as the number of cancellations are on a rise citing various reasons.
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 Dec 20
(Rs/ 100 kg)

Prices as of Dec 27
(Rs/ 100 kg)

Price change
(Rs/ 100 kg)


Rs,    21, 500

Rs,    22, 500

 1, 000

Rahu (Andhra)

Rs.      5, 200

Rs.      5, 400


Rahu (Local)

Rs.      8, 500 

Rs.      8, 500


Prawn zambo a

Rs.    29, 000

Rs.    31, 000

   2, 000  

Prawn zambo b

Rs.    19, 000

Rs.    20, 500

  1, 500 

Prawn zambo c

Rs.    12, 000 

Rs.    12, 500


US$1 = Rs. 48.53 (Dec 30, 2008)

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