Increased consumption of shrimps by the US and China is likely to take Indian seafood exports to a record high in the current fiscal.
Jagdish Fofandi, national president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, told FE that India exported seafood valued at $6.11 billion during the April-December 2021 period. He said despite a slight drop in January, seafood exports have touched $6.7 billion for the first 10 months of FY22 and are on the way to reach the target set by the ministry.
“The growth has come mainly from aquaculture and the US market. We were doing $700 million worth of exports every month and by February, we are likely to exceed the all-time high of $7.02 billion exports achieved in the FY18,” he said.
Overall seafood exports were at $5.96 billion in the last financial year and $6.67 billion in 2019-20.
Nitin Awasthi of Incred Equities told FE, “India remained the top shrimp exporter to US in December 2021,with a market share of 35%. In CY2020, Indian shrimp exports to US market grew 25% to 340,387 tonne. The annual export share of India is back on the growth track after the fall witnessed at the beginning of the CY.”
He said China’s shrimp imports are also going through the roof and global demand for shrimps is surging. Awasthi estimated shrimp prices to be firm given the strong demand and the pumped-up farm-gate prices around the world.
According to market reports by Incred, the US leads with a 40% share in Indian shrimp exports and is expected to touch 40,000 tonne in the coming months, followed by China at 20%, expected to touch 20,000 tonne. Japan holds a 5% share and is expected to move to 10,000 tonne.
Durai Murugan, secretary, Shrimp Association of Pattukottai and managing director of New Diamond Aqua Enterprise, said shrimp prices are likely to sustain at higher levels due to the strong demand from the US and China.
“Farmers in Andhra Pradesh are stocking and production is in full swing. Higher prices are pushing farmers to focus on 50 and 60 counts. Indian production is likely to stay higher this year compared to last year. US inflation and supply chain issues are still going on and so the prices are likely to sustain,” he said.
Fofandi is confident that Indian supply of shrimps will grab a higher market share.
According to the state-run Marine Products Export Development Authority, aquaculture production, which includes black tiger (monodon), is around 8.5 lakh tonne per annum and is increasing.
“According to leading feed producers and trade sources, Indian aquaculture production is likely to increase 15-20% year-on-year given the good demand,” Awasthi said.