India reports contraction in seafood export during FY20-21

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The aquaculture sector performs better; an uptick in tilapia and ornamental fish exports

The COVID-19 pandemic and sluggish overseas markets cast their shadow over India’s resurgent seafood sector as the country exported 11,49,341 MT of marine products worth Rs 43,717.26 crore ($ 5.96 billion) during FY 2020-21, registering a contraction of 10.88 per cent as compared to a year earlier. USA, China, and the European Union were the leading importers, while frozen shrimp retained its position as the major export item, followed by frozen fish.

In 2019-20, India exported 12,89,651 MT of seafood worth Rs 46,662.85 crore ($ 6.68 billion), marking a decline of 6.31 per cent in rupee terms and 10.81 per cent in dollar value in 2020-21.

Frozen shrimp contributed 51.36 per cent in quantity and 74.31 per cent of the total dollar earnings. USA remained its largest importer (2,72,041 MT), followed by China (1,01,846 MT), EU (70,133 MT), Japan (40,502 MT), South East Asia (38,389 MT), and the Middle East (29,108 MT).

However, shrimp exports declined by 9.47 per cent in dollar value and 9.50 per cent in quantity. The overall shrimps export was 5,90,275 MT worth 4,426.19 million dollars. The export of Vannamei (whiteleg) shrimp decreased from 5,12,204 MT to 4,92,271 MT in 2020-21. Of the total Vannamei shrimp exports in dollar value, 56.37 per cent was exported to USA, followed by China (15.13 per cent), EU (7.83 per cent), South East Asia (5.76 per cent), Japan (4.96 per cent) and the Middle East (3.59 per cent).

Japan, the major market for Black Tiger (Penaeus monodon) shrimp, had a share of 39.68 per cent in dollar terms, followed by USA (26.03 per cent), South East Asia (9.32 per cent), EU (8.95 per cent), the Middle East (6.04 per cent) and China (3.76 per cent).

With a share of 16.37 percent in quantity and 6.75 percent in dollar earnings, Frozen fish retained the second position in exports basket though its shipments plummeted by 15.76 percent in quantity and 21.67 per cent in dollar terms.

Frozen squid and frozen cuttlefish exports declined in volume by 30.19 per cent and 16.38 per cent, respectively.

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