India expects to hit seafood-export record
India’s seafood-export value is likely to hit an all-time high in its current fiscal year, which ends 31 March, 2022.
The growth mainly comes from sales of shrimp, India’s top seafood export, and from strong demand from the United States and China, the Financial Express reported 23 February.
India’s seafood exports between April 2021 and January 2022 reached a value of USD 6.7 billion (EUR 5.9 billion), despite a slight dip in January’s export totals, Seafood Exporters Association of India President Jagdish Fofandi said.
“The growth has come mainly from aquaculture and the U.S. market. We were doing USD 700 million [EUR 618 million] worth of exports every month and by February, we are likely to exceed the all-time high of USD 7.02 billion [EUR 6.2 billion] in exports achieved in the FY18,” Fofandi said.
Over the past year, India has faced headwinds including stricter food-import inspections by Chinese authorities, the spread of the omicron variant impacting global demand, and an ongoing shortage of containers and freight rate hikes. In January 2022, The Hindu BusinessLine reported India would likely miss its seafood-export target of USD 7.8 billion (EUR 6.9 billion). Fofandi’s estimate places India below that target.
India topped the tables in U.S. shrimp exports for the ninth consecutive year in 2021, sending 680.8 million pounds (308,805 MT) of shrimp to the U.S., up from 543.5 million pounds (271,728 MT) in 2020 and its previous record of 622.8 million pounds (282,584 metric tons) in 2019.
India’s seafood-export value sunk to USD 5.96 billion (EUR 5.3 billion) in 2020-2021 fiscal year, down 10.6 percent from the USD 6.67 billion (EUR 5.9 billion) it achieved in 2019-2020.
InCred Equities Research Analyst Nitin Awasthi said given considerable growth in demand, particularly from China, and recent increases in farm-gate rates, shrimp prices are expected to remain firm.
New Diamond Aqua Enterprise Managing Director Durai Murugan said U.S. and Chinese demand remains strong, an indicator prices will remain high.
“Farmers in Andhra Pradesh are stocking and production is in full swing,” Murugan said. “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. U.S. inflation and supply chain issues are still going on and so the prices are likely to sustain.”
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