Bhubaneswar: Seafood exports are likely to grow over 20 per cent in 2017-18 after the figures touched an all-time high of $5.78 billion (Rs 37,870.90 crore) in 2016-17.
The exporters are upbeat despite the fact that the major importing countries are taking protectionist measures to safeguard their local industries.
Recently, The American Shrimp Processors’ Association has named India, along with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, China, and Malaysia, as seven of the 13 countries with which the US ran a significant overall shrimp trade deficit in 2016. The US trade deficit in shrimp was $4.5 billion in 2016.
Similarly, the International Trade Commission of the United States had unanimously voted to extend the current anti-dumping orders on shrimp from China, India, Thailand and Vietnam for an additional five years.
"With exports to US setting new records and the markets' rising appetite, the industry is confident of a strong growth for the Indian shrimps. By our current estimates, it would be a surprise if Indian exports don't bring in growth in excess of 20 per cent y-o-y (year on year)," said Rahul Kulkarni, director, WestCoast Group, a leading seafood exporter from India.
USA had imported 1,88,617 tonnes of Indian seafood in the last financial year, accounting for 29.98 per cent in dollar terms. The exports have registered a growth of 22.72 per cent, 33 per cent and 29.82 per cent in terms of quantity, value in rupee and the US dollars, respectively.
The exporters are pinning hopes on growth in exports with the adoption of the Vannamei or Pacific White variety of shrimp in recent years over the Black Tiger by new states.
"The areas brought under Vannamei cultivation is on the rise in states like Odisha and West Bengal. There is also emergence of demands from new countries like Canada and Australia", said G Mohanty, an Odisha based exporter.