India’s seafood exports surpassed USD 8 billion in last fiscal year, up 4.3 percent

Shrimp being processed at a Nekkanti Sea Foods facility in India.

India’s seafood exports reached USD 8.09 billion (EUR 7.41 billion) in its most recent fiscal year, up 4.31 percent year-over-year, according to the country’s commerce ministry.

India’s exports by volume increased 26.7 percent to 1,735,286 metric tons (MT) in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which ended in March 2022, up from 1,369,264 MT the year prior.

Despite the increases, India did not meet its goal of USD 8.8 billion (EUR ) in seafood exports for the year.

The United States was India’s top market, accounting for USD 2.63 billion (EUR 2.41 billion) in sales, though exports to the U.S. declined 21.9 percent in value terns “due to sluggish demand," India’s Commerce Ministry said in a release. India’s exports to China surged 51.9 percent by volume to 405,547 MT and 28.4 percent in value at USD 1.51 billion (EUR 1.38 billion). And the European Union remained India’s third-largest market with 207,976 MT in exports worth USD 1.26 billion (EUR 1.15 billion).

“India’s seafood industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, achieving remarkable growth in exports despite the global market fluctuations,” India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority Chairman Shri Dodda Swamy said, according to India’s Business-Standard. “The diversification of markets and consistent focus on quality have contributed to this success."

India saw a drop in the value of its shrimp exports by value to USD 5.48 billion (EUR 5.02 billion), down from USD 5.83 billion (EUR 5.34 billion) in the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Frozen vannamei shrimp accounted for 41 percent of total exports, with top markets including the U.S. at 275,662 MT, China at 145,743 MT, the European Union at 95,377 MT, Southeast Asia at 65,466 MT, Japan at 40,975 MT, and the Middle East at 31,647 MT.

"Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in terms of both quantity and value, while U.S. and China turned out to be the major importers of India's seafood," the commerce ministry said.

While vannamei accounted for 96 percent of India’s total shrimp production, black tiger shrimp sales grew 55 percent year-over-year in 2022-2023. Tilapia exports also increased 16 percent; and frozen octopus, canned products, frozen lobster, and live exports all enjoyed notable year-over-year increases in their export volume and value.

India also notched increased exports of frozen fish, which accounted for 21.2 percent of exports by volume, up 62.6 percent from the previous year, and 8.5 percent by value, up 45.7 percent year-over-year.

Swamy said there had been a significant decline in demand for India’s surimi. He said demand from Japan, the primary market for surimi, had declined “precipitously,” and that as a result, Japan can no longer be considered a major market for Indian seafood.

Nonetheless, Swamy said his MPEDA’s outlook for this year’s seafood export situation is positive, based on the Indian government's prioritization of the seafood market as a driver of growth and economic development in the country.

“In the current financial year, we are anticipating to do very well and achieve greater heights," he said.

Photo courtesy of Nekkanti Sea Foods


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