India shipped 12,89,651 million tonne (MT) of seafood worth Rs 46,662.85 crore ($6.68 billion) during 2019-20, largely cushioning the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said on Monday.
Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in terms of quantity and value followed by frozen fish while the USA and China turned out to be the major importers of India's seafood.
During the FY 2019-20, the export improved in rupee term by 0.16 percent, but the quantity and US dollar value declined by 7.39 percent and 0.74 percent, respectively, MPEDA said in a statement.
In 2018-19, India had exported 13, 92,559MT of seafood worth Rs 46,589.37 crore (USD 6,728.50 million).
K S Srinivas, Chairman, MPEDA, said India managed to export 12,89,651MT of seafood, despite the sluggish demand in its major export markets caused by the pandemic, whichled to cancellation of several orders, reduced and delayed payments, slowdown of cargo movements and difficulty in getting new orders.
The decline in sea catch along the west coast due to reduced fishing days has also been a reason for the shortfall in quantity, he said.
"We missed the 7-billion-dollar target, though not by a fair distance. However, exports are now likely to witness an uptick as lockdowns have been eased globally and there is an increased sale of value added products in retail chains. MPEDA's vision is to take Indian seafood exports to Rs one lakh crore by 2030," Srinivas said.
Frozen shrimp, which earned Rs 34,152.03 crore (USD 4,889.12 million), retained its position as the most significant item in the basket of seafood exports, accounting for a share of 50.58 percent in quantity and 73.21 percent of the total dollar earnings.
Shrimp exports during the period increased by 6.04 percent in dollar value and 6.20 percent in quantity.
The overall export of frozen shrimps during 2019-20 was pegged at 6,52,253MT, which fetched foreign exchange worth $4,889.12 million.
USA, the largest market, imported (2, 85,904MT) of frozen shrimp, followed by China (1, 45,710MT), European Union (74,035MT), Japan (38,961MT), South East Asia (34,439MT), and the Middle East (32,645MT).
The export of Vannamei (white leg) shrimp increased from 4,18,128MT to 5, 12,189MT in 2019-20.
Of the total Vannamei shrimp exports in value terms, USA accounted for 51.07 percent, followed by China (21.81 percent), European Union (8.19 percent), South East Asia (4.73 percent), Japan (4.51 percent), and the Middle East (3.66 percent).
USA also turned out to be the major market for Black Tiger shrimp with a share of 36.88 percent in terms of value, followed by Japan (31.55 percent) and European Union (10.40 percent).
Frozen fish, the second largest export item, fetched Rs 3,610.01 crore ($513.60 million), accounting for 17.32 percent in quantity and 7.69 percent in dollar earnings.
However, the export of frozen fish declined by 34.11 percent in quantity and 26.53 percent in dollar value.
Export of frozen cuttlefish, pegged at 70,906MT, showed a positive growth of 17.76 percent in quantity, 1.71 percent in rupee value and 1.45 percent in dollar terms, and earned Rs 2,009.79 crore ($286.40 million).
Export of chilled items, which is considered as a promising sector, also increased by 23.22 percent, 2.53 percent and 1.29 percent in terms of quantity, rupee value and USD earnings, respectively.
However, exports of frozen squid and dried items declined during the period.
Though live items also showed a decline of 28.41 percent in terms of quantity, the unit value realisation increased from $5.49 to $6.37 this year, the statement said.
As for overseas markets, the USA continued to be the major importer of Indian seafood in value terms with an import worth $2,562.54 million, accounting for a share of 38.37 percent in terms of dollar value.
Exports to the US registered a growth of 8.25 percent in quantity, 10.38 percent in rupee value and 9.30 percent in USD earnings.
Frozen shrimp continued to be the principal item exported to that country and the exports of Vannamei shrimp showed a growth of 18.94 percent in quantity and 19.02 percent in dollar terms, it said.
China emerged as the largest seafood export destination from India in terms of quantity with an import of 3,29,479MT worth $1,374.63 million, accounting for 25.55 percent in quantity and 20.58 percent in dollar terms.
Exports to that country grew by 46.10 percent in quantity and 69.47 percent in USD value.
Frozen shrimp, the major item of exports to China, had a share of 44.22 percent in quantity and 62.65 percent in dollar value while the frozen fish had a share of 40.12 percent in terms of quantity and 23.54 percent in terms of value out of the total exports to China.
The European Union continued to be the third largest destination for Indian seafood with frozen shrimp, the major item of exports, registering an increase of 5.21 per cent and 1.63 per cent in quantity and dollar value, respectively.
South East Asia is the fourth largest market.
However, overall exports to the countries in this region plummeted by 50.02 per cent in quantity, 53.32 percent in rupee value and 53.90 percent in dollar earnings.
Japan continued to be the fifth largest importer with a share of 6.09 percent in quantity and 6.32 percent in USD value terms, registering a growth of 0.02 percent in rupee value.
Frozen shrimp continued to be the major item of exports to Japan.
Exports to the Middle East also showed a growth of 5.04 percent in rupee and 3.82 percent in dollar terms, but marked a 4.72 percent negative growth in quantity.