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Seafood exports touch all-time high of $7.74 billion

Exports hit 99.12% of the target of $7.80 billion set for the year, despite COVID-related restrictions and logistics problems. In rupee terms, this translates to around Rs 58,000 crore, which is around 33% higher than the previous year. In FY22, India exported marine products to 121 countries, and the US remains the top destination.

April 08, 2022 / 01:26 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Seafood exports reached an all-time high of $7.74 billion in FY22, up by 30 percent over the previous year. The previous highest of $7.08 billion was touched in 2017-18.

As per the preliminary data released by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), exports achieved 99.12 percent of the target of $7.80 billion set for the year, despite COVID-related restrictions and logistics problems. In rupee terms, this translates to around Rs 58,000 crore, which is around 33 percent higher than the previous year.

In FY21, India exported 11,49,341 tonnes of seafood, worth Rs 43,717 crore ($5.96 billion). While the volume was down by about 10 percent, the earnings in dollar terms had dropped by 11 percent in 2020-21.

The volume details for FY22 have not been finalised yet. But it is learnt to be over 12 lakh tonnes. According to MPEDA, the cumulative annual growth rate of seafood exports in the past decade stood at 8.23 percent.

US remains the top export destination

In FY22, India exported marine products to 121 countries. The US continues to be the top destination for exports this fiscal year, too. The US has remained the top destination for Indian seafood export for the past 11 years. The target fixed for the US market during the fiscal year was $3,021 million and $3,315 million was hit. The share of the US in Indian seafood export went up from 41 percent in FY21 to 43 percent in FY22.

China retained the number two position, where it has been for the previous three years, despite various trade challenges. Exports to China touched $1,121 million against the target of $1,021 million. The share of China in Indian exports, however, dropped from 15.77 percent to 14 percent in FY22.

Japan came third again, retaining the same ranking for the past three years. Exports to Japan were worth $448 million against the target of $428 million.

Exports to these three countries contributed 63 percent to the total exports in dollar terms. The top five countries, which include Vietnam and Thailand, contributed 70 percent of exports and the top 10 contributed 82 percent of the total marine exports in dollar terms.

The exporters reckon that, but for a few problems in the overseas markets, exports would have overshot the target. “China had COVID protocol for checking the consignments imported to the country, which led to delays and cancellations. The Russia-Ukraine conflict also led to the stoppage of exports to the region at the fag end of the year. Besides, exporters had to face the hurdle of non-availability of shipping containers,’’ said Jagdish Fofandi, president of Seafood Exporters Association of India.

The seafood export target for FY23 could be around $8.6 billion.
PK Krishnakumar is a journalist based in Kochi.
first published: Apr 8, 2022 01:26 pm