Shrimp exports to the US for May are seen lower by 58% year-on-year at 8,600 tonne, according the latest data of the US agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. During May 2019, India exported 20,391 tonne of shrimps to the US.
In April 2020, exports stood at 22,229 tonne, against 17,749 tonne in April 2019.
India is the largest producer of farmed shrimps in the world and accounts for nearly 6% of global fish production. During 2019, India accounted for 282,584 tonne of shrimps from the total US import of 698,445 tonne.
Total US imports in May showed a decline to 37,814 tonne, from 53,580 tonne in May 2019.
The US is currently the largest buyer of Indian seafood, followed by China.
During initial days of the lockdown, the Indian seafood sector was working at 20-25% capacity, with most of the laboratories remaining closed. Labor and vehicle movements were also constrained in most of the coastal states.
Traders said the seafood export sector was impacted globally due to COVID and associated lockdown. It has also led to cancellation of several orders, reduced/delayed payments, slowdown of cargo movements and difficulty in getting new orders/renewal of existing orders.
The Marine Products Export Development Authority has reported that in the initial period of lockdown, there was 30-40% reduced stocking of shrimps by farmers. However, now the situation is improving.
According to the government data, seafood exports during 2019-20 are seen at Rs 47,618 crore in value terms, a decline of 0.1% Y-o-Y. In dollar terms, the decline is 1.2% at $6,722 million in 2019-20, against $6,802 million in 2018-19.
During the last fiscal, import of marine grew 18.6% to touch Rs 1,290 crore.