Indian shrimp exporters may look at alternative markets barely days after the European Union tightened the norms for inspection of aquaculture products from India intended for human consumption. EU is the third largest market for Indian shrimp exports (traded in dollars) in value terms.
“Despite all restrictions , the EU buying rates are not par with the rates given by USA or any other market. It is a sheer hindrance as the rates from EU are lesser than US and China markets”, said Ajay Dash, president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI)–Odisha region.
The cost of testing will have to be borne by the exporters which may not be profitable for running the processing units. They should come with a better rate after putting such restrictions. Exporters may switch to other markets where there is more leniency, he added.
Exporters may lose upto Rs 10 lakh on return of one container. According to the revised norms, member-states shall, by using appropriate sampling plans, ensure that official samples are taken from at least 50 per cent of consignments presented for import at border inspection posts on their territory. The percentage was 10 per cent earlier. Exporters may look for existing but alternate markets like China, Japan and US, leading to reduction in exports to EU, Dash said. The amendment in testing norms has been adopted after the results of analytical tests undertaken by official control laboratories demonstrated that the level of compliance of aquaculture products from India with regard to presence of residues of chloramphenicol, tetracycline, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline and metabolites of nitrofurans is unsatisfactory.
“Our government is trying what action will be taken so that testing will not be there. There is a way to take up the matter so that the restrictions will not be there”, Tara Ranjan Patnaik , vice president , SEAI and Chairman, Falcon Marine Exports limited, a leading exporter in country.
The EU is the third largest market for Indian shrimp exporters with a share of 20.71 per cent in dollar terms after the US (28.46 per cent) and South East Asia (24.59 per cent).