India’s exports of shrimps for this year are robust and likely to end up higher by 10% in volume than 2018, traders said. Exports to the US, the largest importer of shrimps, are seen higher for the first seven months of the year but Chinese consumption is likely to be more robust. India is the largest producer of shrimps in the world and accounts for nearly 6% of the global fish production.
Durai Murugan, secretary of Shrimp Association of Pattukottai and managing director of New Diamond Aqua Enterprise, told FE that shrimp exports in 2019 are estimated to go up 10 %. He expects higher demand from China for the Chinese new year consumption.
Export of shrimps from India to the US during January-July of 2019 stood at 141,003 tonne, against 124,805 tonne in the corresponding period last year, according to the latest data of US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The increase is 13 % year-on-year , while the total US imports of shrimp is seen only a nominal growth for the period.
During 2018, India accounted for 247,783 tonne from a total US import of 695,332 tonne. Regarding production, Indian shrimp production is estimated to be on the lower side to weather-related issues. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that pond stocking in India during the main farming season of May–July has been much lower this year, suggesting a continuation of supply shortage for the rest of the year. Heavy rainfall in July affected production in the southern and eastern aquaculture belts of the country. Indian industry sources indicate a 30–40 % production drop in 2019 as compared with 2018, according to the report.
“There is heavy shortage of shrimp in the international market. Increase in production has been a bit lower than the expected levels due to various weather events leading to acute shortage. Hence, shrimp prices are going through the roof ,” Shaji Baby John, chairman and managing director, Kings Infra Ventures said.
John added higher returns were seen boosting the confidence of farmers who are currently doing additional stocking, eyeing a secondary crop. “Rupee has also depreciated considerably during the last two months. Hence, the export value of shrimp during the current year will be higher where the increase in prices and dollar advantage will offset any shortfall in production. Most farmers are now busy creating more space and other support mechanisms to accommodate the additional stocks ,” he added.
FAO also reports Japanese imports of value-added shrimp maintained the positive growth and imports in China again rose 217% compared with January–May 2018, with a 600% increase in imports from India and shrimp packers worldwide are likely to focus more on the Southeast Asian markets.