Seafood Exports Touch Record High In 2012-13

KOCHI: Higher production and export of shrimp and chilled items drove India's marine products export to an all-time high of Rs 18,856 crore ($3,511.67 million) in 2012-13, rising 7.68% in quantity compared to the previous year, said LeenaNair, chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority (Mpeda).

The exports crossed earlier records in quantity, rupee value and US dollar terms. Based on quantity, the country exported 9,28,215 tonnes in 2012-13. In rupee and dollar terms, the growth was 13.61% and 0.1%, respectively.

"Increased production of Vannamei and Black Tiger shrimp and increased export of chilled items have helped to achieve higher exports. Frozen shrimp continued to be the major export value item, accounting for 51.35% of the total US dollar earnings," she said.

According to Mpeda, shrimp exports rose by 20.88%, 18.73% and 3.56% in quantity, rupee value and US dollar value, respectively. There was steep drop in unit value realization of frozen shrimp at 14.33%," highlighted Nair.

"The increase in export figures must be viewed in the light of weaker economic conditions in the European Union, still recovering economy in the US, moderate growth in China, technical barriers in trade with Japan, continuing anti-dumping duty and the possibility of countervailing duty on frozen shrimp by the US, and the devaluation of Indian currency. Supply conditions in other countries have also recovered in comparison to the previous year," said Nair.

Meanwhile, fish has retained the position as the principal export item in quantity terms and the second largest export item in value terms, accounting for a share of about 37.05% in quantity and 17.59% in US dollar earnings.

Southeast Asia continued to be the largest buyer of Indian marine products with a share of 23.12% in US dollar terms. European Union is the second largest market, followed by the US, Japan, China, Middle East and other countries.

Mpeda chief also saidthat the country expects to achieve seafood exports worth $4.3 billion for the current fiscal year. Among potential markets, the agency targets China, expecting an increase in the trade between the two countries.

"India has signed an agreement with China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). Increase in seafood trade is one of the conditions," said Nair.

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