India’s seafood exports cross $5.5 billion during last fiscal

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Kochi | Published: July 3, 2015 12:07:00 AM

Seafood exports crossed $5.5 billion in the last fiscal despite a sharp drop in the price of shrimp during the last quarter...

Seafood exports crossed $5.5 billion in the last fiscal despite a sharp drop in the price of shrimp during the last quarter, officials of state-run Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said here on Thursday.

During 2014-15, volume of exports crossed record 1 million tonne for the first time. Exports aggregated to 10,51,243 tonne valued at R33,441.61 crore ($5511.12 million). Compared to the previous year, seafood exports recorded a growth of 6.86 % in volume, 10.69% in rupee term (10.05 % in dollar).

“We could have touched $6.5 billion-mark but the drop in unit value of shrimps due to good supply from other sources prevented us. This growth may be viewed under the prevailing international market situations — the depreciation of euro, weaker economic condition in China, devaluation of yen, depreciation of Indian rupee and improvement in supply,” Leena Nair, chairman of MPEDA said.

Frozen shrimp continued to be the major export item in terms of quantity and value, accounting for a share of 34.01% in quantity and 67.19% of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 18.60%, 16% and 15.54% in quantity, in rupee value and in dollar value, respectively. However unit value realisation decreased to $10.38/kg from $10.65 in 2013-14, a negative growth of 2.59%.

Improvement in supply conditions in South East Asian countries in comparison to previous year has resulted in continuous drop in prices of shrimp, a principal commodity of Indian seafood export basket. “The downward trend in unit value realisation for Vannamei shrimp in US and other markets started during December 2014. The trend continued till the end of March 2015. It has recorded lowest of $5.90/pound during March 2015,” MPEDA officials said.

However, MPEDA is hopeful of higher exports in value terms in the next fiscal on the assumption that the prices have bottomed out and would rise with demand.

Fish is the second largest export item, accounting for a share of about 29.44% in quantity and 11.24% in $ earnings. Export of value added products during 2014-15 has increased to 95,436 tonne from 84,549 tonne with a growth of 12.88% and to $746.59 million from $634.67 million with a growth of 17.63%. The major contributor to the export of value added item is value added shrimp items with a share of 63.54% in quantity terms and 75.37% in US$ terms. Dried item have shown a positive growth in terms of quantity by 3.89% and in Rupee term by 1.22%, but it has shown negative growth in $ terms by 1.41%.

The US is the largest market for Indian seafood products with a share of 26.46% followed by South East Asia (25.71%), European Union (20.08%), Japan (9.11%), other countries (8.58%), Middle East (6.04%) and China (4.02%).

Exports to the US had registered a growth of 16.94% in quantity and 13.39% in $ realisation and are mainly attributed to the export of frozen shrimp, which showed a growth of about 17.49% in volume and 12.87% in $ terms.

MPEDA sources said that export to China has decreased drastically. The export has registered a negative growth of 21.46%, 23.64% and 24.45% in terms of quantity, rupee value and dollar term.

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