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Indian seafood exports at all-time-high, record a growth of 11% over previous year

Economic Times:  July, 2015

Kochi: Seafood exports from India touched an all-time- high of Rs 33,441.61 crore for the year 2014-15, recording a growth of 11 per cent over the previous year. The volumes at 10,51,243 tonnes showed a growth of 7 per cent. In dollar terms the export value stood at $5.51 billion, up by 10 per cent year-on-year.

Frozen shrimps continued to be the flagship product in the seafood exports accounting for a share of 34 per cent in quantity and 67 per cent in dollar value of the total exports. Vannamei grown in aquaculture farms was the main item under shrimps. Of the overall seafood export, shrimps comprised 3,57,505 tonnes valued around $3.7 billion.

Leena Nair, chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), the nodal agency for promotion of export of marine products from India, said the increase in exports has been achieved despite problems in the world market like depreciation of Euro, weak economic condition in China and devaluation of Yen .

The supply from South East Asian countries also improved during the year resulting in the continuous drop in the prices of shrimp, the principle commodity of Indian seafood export basket.

USA was the largest buyer of seafood products with 26 per cent share followed by South East Asia with 25.7 per cent share . European Union took the third position with 20 per cent . Frozen fish was the second largest exported item accounting for a share of 29 per cent in quantity and 11 per cent in dollar value. Almost 75 per cent of the exported items came from the aquaculture farms and while the rest was contributed by the sea catch.

Encouraged by the performance of seafood sector, MPEDA has set an export target of $6.6 billion for the current fiscal. According to Leena Nair, the country would focus on diversification and value addition in the current year in marine products.

Among the ports, Pipavav in Gujarat came first in seafood exports in quantity while Vizag in Andhra Pradesh bagged the top position among the ports in value.