Indian shrimp exports to the US are likely to be robust and higher in 2018 despite a global supply glut due to higher production in most countries.
During the first four months of the year, India exported 65,325 tonne to the US as against 49,972 tonne in the same period of last year, said Durai Murugan Balasubramanian, exporter and secretary, Shrimp Association Tamil Nadu (Pattukottai). The exports are 31% higher when compared to last year.
In April, exports of shrimp stood at 16,869 tonne as against 13,871 tonne in April 2017, which is 22% higher year-on-year, he added.
India is the top exporter to the US, beating Indonesia with 45,412 tonne and Ecuador by 24,385 tonne. The total US import of shrimp in the first four months of 2018 stands at 2,02,724 tonne, which is a 13% increase from 2017.
Globefish, a division of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), recently reported that Indian shrimp production is estimated to increase by 10% in 2018 provided the climate does not create major problems.
FAO also reports that Indian shrimp exports to the US increased by 39% to touch 2,14,400 tonne in 2017 with the US demand likely to remain robust .
The decrease in anti-dumping tariff on Indian shrimp and its increased market acceptance led to a significant increase in shrimp supply from India and the average wholesale price of Indian shell-on vannamei was 6-10% higher than the Ecuadorian product.
According to trade sources, Indian aquaculture production is estimated to touch a record 7 lakh tonne during the current fiscal and reach 1 million tonne by 2020. However, entry of new players and countries in the supply chain has led to a glut in the market with shrimp prices in free fall.
Some of the Indian farmers have not seeded their farms after incurring huge losses in the first quarter harvest.
India is the second-largest fish producer in the world after China and accounts for nearly 6% of global fish production. It exported 10,85,378 tonne of seafood, valued at `35,916.60 crore during the first 10 months of FY18 as against 9,54,744 tonne and `32,620.03 crore, respectively a year earlier.