Indian seafood exports to U.S. slump


Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
October 20, 2009

Indian seafood exporters are looking to the East to drum up new business, as the U.S. market becomes less appealing due to a depreciating dollar against the rupee and weakening demand for high-end seafood products.

“Despite the European Union and United States economies beginning to shed the lag effects of the global recession, the demand for seafood has yet to pick up,” said Anwar Hashim, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI). “The demand is still for the cheaper low-end products.”

With the value of the dollar falling 13 percent against the rupee in recent months, U.S. seafood importers are turning away from high-end Indian seafood products.

As the winter holiday season approaches, Indian seafood exporters normally receive large orders from the United States and European Union. According to Hashim, those orders have not materialized this year, which concerns SEAI members.

Europe has been a better market for Indian seafood exporters. But the most significant increase in seafood exports is coming from low-end products bound for China, which is now India’s second largest seafood-export market at 15 percent, in terms of value.

The European Union remains the top market for Indian seafood exports at 33 percent, while the United States places fourth at 10 percent.

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