Indian shrimp looks at China for growth in demand as US imports is seen slowing. According to a trade report by FAO's Globefish, which is responsible for information and analysis on international fish trade and markets, China is now the world's number one market for shrimp and strong demand from China kept the international shrimp trade stable in 2019.
Globefish reports that during the second half of 2019, international shrimp trade escaped another market crash supported by strong imports by China. However, the three other large traditional markets — the US, the EU and Japan — posted negative import growths during this period.
The report also mentions the likelihood of lower shrimp exports from India in 2019 as overall exports of shrimp declined from most countries in Asia, due to lower import demand, although exports increased to China in large percentages.
However, according to the latest data published by the US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), India's shrimp exports to the US for the period of January-September 2019 stands at 198,350 tonne as against 175,511 tonne during the same period of 2018.
Since 2018, China has emerged as the rising star in the global shrimp market. During the first half of this year, foreign shrimp supplies in China increased by 186% to 2,85,900 tonne, compared with 1,00,000 tonne in 2018 and 54,100 tonne in 2017, for the corresponding periods. During the review period, Ecuador had a 41% share in these imports, followed by India (21% ) and Saudi Arabia (8% ).
Earlier in October, the Indian government had reported that the country's marine exports to China are expected to cross $1 billion mark by the end of this year having touched almost $800 million in the first nine months of 2019.
India is the second-largest aquaculture producer and the third-largest fish producer in the world with exports of marine products worth $7 billion. China is a major importer of marine products with imports of around $12 billion.
China imported 49,701 tonne of seafood from India in 2017-18 worth $227.39 million and according to the data released by China's customs authority recently it has tripled and touched almost $800 million, in the first nine months of 2019.
Regarding Indian shrimp production from aquaculture ,Globefish reports that in India, where shrimp aquaculture is mainly export-oriented, production forecast for 2019 suggested a 30–40% decrease in comparison to 2018.
"In the main aquaculture region, Andhra, the often unsuccessful price negotiations between farmers and processors/exporters, resulted in a much lower production this year. In Odisha, cyclone and floods disrupted farmed shrimp production during the second half of the year and the region of Tamil Nadu was affected by the unusual and extreme hot weather this year. Production trend in Gujarat and West Bengal remained moderate but insufficient to offset the falling supplies in the southern farming regions," the report mentions.
Shrimp prices in the international trade remained stable in 2019 albeit with a weaker trend. In view of the falling production in India, export prices have started to improve since August, albeit marginally, the report adds. In US, the average import price of shrimp in 2019 was 8.5 % lower during the first half of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018.
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