Global shrimp trade in crashed 2018, but India upstaged competing nations in growth rate of exports.
The country logged a growth rate of 21.7 per cent, shipping 241,200 tonnes of shrimps from January to June of 2018, showed a report by Globefish, a unit within the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
India's shrimp export growth rate beat major exporters Ecuador and Indonesia, which recorded 14 per cent growth each. Vietnam had clocked an increase of eight per cent only in exports of shrimps in the period under review.
Among the top seven players in the world, exports increased from India, Vietnam, Ecuador, Indonesia and Thailand in the first half of 2018, compared with the same period of 2017. However, the growth rates of these nations in the second quarter of 2018 have been slower than in the first quarter of 2018.
India’s exports to China had surged during the first six months of calendar 2018 to 13,900 tonnes, an increase of 181 per cent when compared with the same period in 2017. On the contrary, export growth to its top two markets of the United States of America and Vietnam slowed down from 35 per cent to 14 per cent and from 58 per cent to 35 per cent respectively, compared with the same period in 2017.
The report noted that shrimp farmers in Asia slowed down production of Vannamei shrimp since April, particularly in China, India and Thailand, as low prices made production unprofitable. For supporting the farmers, the Indian government had reduced the tariff on electricity for shrimp farming. The weaker rupee against the US dollar also lessened burden on exporters.
However, farmers’ overall income declined, forcing many to reduce production, particularly in the southern states of India where processors have had to bring raw material from as far as West Bengal, Globefish said.