MPEDA plays down coronavirus impacts to Indian seafood exports

Published on
February 6, 2020

India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) Chairman K.S. Srinivas has played down possible impacts on the South Asian nation’s exports of seafood from the deadly coronavirus currently spreading in China and other countries, The Hindu reported.

India’s exports of shrimp and other live species to China and other countries are being implemented as normal, Srinivas said.

“The impact of coronavirus on seafood exports is minimal. There is no need for farmers or exporters to panic. The demand for shrimp and other varieties remains unchanged at the global level,” Srinivas said, urging exporters not to worry, as India is still exporting shrimp and fish from all major ports across the country.

China is one of the major buyers of seafood from India, along with Japan, the United States, and the European Union. Products such as frozen shrimp, frozen finfish, and squid continue to be shipped out from India’s major ports, including Chennai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, Kakinada, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, and Krishnapatnam.

Despite Srinivas’ reassurances, at least two farmers interviewed by The Hindu said they were concerned about the economic impact of the epidemic, saying it is likely to have impacts on the exports of seafood to China.

On 27 January, The Hindu Business Line reported that the coronavirus outbreak in China has started to hit crab trading in the Indian state of Kerala, with prices falling sharply amid abundant supplies.

The crisis has started affecting the market, with supplies of the red female crab piling up at the small-scale dealers. Several wholesale dealers in Kerala have stopped procuring live red crab from small-scale dealers and fishermen following restrictions imposed on exports of the species to China.

V. Visakhan, who owns a seafood processing facility in Kerala, told the Deccan Chronicle that seafood processing units and exporters in Kerala have been asked to slow down shipments to China amid the spread of the virus.

Photo courtesy of Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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