India seafood exports dip on falling prices

Declining prices, improved supply and economic turmoil in the overseas markets have pushed down the value of Indian seafood exports by 25 to 30 percent this year although the quantity of shipments may have shown a nominal increase. Good production in foreign markets has pulled down the prices.

“Prices are lower this year in several Southeast Asian countries. We feel that there has been a 25 to30 percent drop in the value of exports this year. However, the quantity should have increased,” said D B Ravi Reddy, president of Seafood Exporters Association of India.

Except in the U.S., purchases by most of the other countries have been sluggish. Southeast Asia was the largest buyer last year, accounting for 25 percent of the over USD 3.5 billion worth of marine products exports from India. Increased buying was prompted by a shortage in production, particularly the now-popular Vannamei shrimp variety. “But this year the supply situation has vastly improved in most of the markets, reaching almost the normal production level,” said an officer with the Marine Product Export Development Authority.

Vannamei prices have dropped from USD 8 to USD 12 a kilogram to USD 6 a kilogram, dragging down the earnings of seafood exporters.

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