Seafood exports are likely to be flat in the coming months due to sluggish demand, brought on by a combination of factors, says report. India is the second largest fish producer in the world after China and accounts for nearly 6% of global fish production.
California-based fintech company Drip Capital reports that Indian shrimp exports show mixed signs. First, the competition from China, Ecuador, Thailand, and Vietnam is at an all-time high.
Second, there have been issues ranging from poor stocking, to diseases, to increasingly stringent quality checks by importers.
Third, exports to the European Union — historically the biggest buyer of Indian marine products (including shrimp) — have fallen,” the commodity insight by the company states.
Seafood exports from the nation for the last fiscal touched $7.08 billion with 13,77,244 tonne exported, against $ 5.77 billion with 11,34,948-tonne marine products in the year-ago period, according to state-run Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) data.
Vannamei or white shrimps dominate Indian exports with nearly 70% share in dollar earnings.
Anwar Hashim, managing director of Abad Fisheries and former president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), told FE the market was quiet after shipping for the festive demand from the US market.
“Indian vannamei production may not increase this season as estimated and may remain at last year’s level. Demand for Indian shrimp has subdued after a good growth.Demand for other fish like cuttle and squid remains good,” he added.
In the first nine months of 2018, Indian shrimp exports to US was 175,838 tonne, against 151,010 in the corresponding period the previous year, a growth of 16 %.
India was the largest exporter of frozen shrimp to the US in 2017 with 32% share after south Asian producers like Thailand suffered due to diseases in fish farms.
While the first half of the year was not good for aquaculture farmers with prices declining sharply, the exports to US market continued. Some of the Indian farmers did not seed their farms after incurring huge losses in the first quarter’s harvest when market prices plunged almost 60% .
The depreciation of the Indian rupee has given some support but the volatility of the market has left exporters concerned.
Drip reports there seemed to be many macro changes that are causing exporters to change their forward-looking strategies.