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Indian seafood exports surges by as much as 21% in Q1

The growth is recorded at a time when a ban from European Union (EU) is looming large over quality issues

Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 


Spurred by soaring demand for frozen shrimp and frozen squid in international markets, India’s marine product exports have surged  by more than 21 per cent to $1.42 billion during April-June 2017, from $1.17 billion recorded during the same quarter the previous fiscal.

The growth has been recorded at a time when a ban from (EU), the third largest market of Indian seafood is looming large for quality issues.

“Healthy harvests of shrimp, drastic reduction in the rejection rate by the EU countries, sustained measures to ensure quality and improved infrastructure facilities for production of value added products were chiefly responsible for India’s surge seafood exports,” said A Jayathilak, chairman, (MPEDA).

What is satisfying is that growth in exports was achieved in the face of continued uncertainties in the global seafood trade, he added.

During the first quarter, Indian exporters have exported  2,51,735 tonnes of seafood. It was 2,01,223 tonnes recorded during April-June 2016.

Frozen shrimp continued to be the top export item of marine products basket, accounting for a share of 50.66 per cent in quantity and 74.90 per cent of the total earnings in dollar terms. Shrimp exports increased by 20.87 per cent in terms of quantity and 21.64 per cent in dollar terms. Frozen squid , the second largest export item from India, accounted for 7.82 per cent in quantity and 5.81 per cent in dollar earnings, registered a growth of 40.25 per cent in terms of dollar value.

Other major seafood product that contributed to surge in exports was frozen fish. It recorded a growth of 24.96 per cent, 17.55 per cent and 21.75 per cent in terms of quantity, rupee value and dollar earnings, respectively.

Market wise USA and South East Asia retained their position as the major importers of India’s seafood, followed by the EU and Japan, while the demand from China saw a healthy surge during the period.

 USA imported 54,344 tonnes of Indian seafood worth 499.28 million dollars, accounting for a share of 35.05 per cent in dollar terms, while export to that country registered a growth of 39.56 per cent, 33.66 per cent and 38.93 per cent in terms of quantity, value in rupee and US dollars, respectively.  

South East Asia continued to be the second largest destination of India’s marine products, with a share of 31.26 per cent in dollar terms, followed by the EU (14.70 per cent), Japan (6.68 per cent), the middle east (3.47 per cent), China (3.06 per cent) and other countries (5.79 per cent).

Overall, exports to South East Asia increased by 50.37 per cent in quantity, 28.84 per cent in rupee value and 33.87 per cent in dollar earnings.

The EU is the third largest destination for Indian marine products with a share of 15.23 per cent in quantity.  Japan, the fourth largest destination for Indian seafood, accounted for 6.68 per cent in earnings and 7.26 per cent in quantity terms.

The overall export of shrimp during the first quarter of the current fiscal was pegged at 1, 27,521 tonne worth $1066.97 million with USA being the largest import market for frozen shrimp (50,630 tonnes).

First Published: Mon, October 16 2017. 18:52 IST