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Indian Shrimp Harvest A Success

Crustaceans Sustainability Economics +4 more

INDIA - There has been a sharp rise in Indian shrimp production even though disease outbreaks, adverse weather and crop delays have hit global output.

TheHinduBusinessLine reports that production in China, Thailand and Viet Nam has been affected, said Mr Anwar Hashim, the former President of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).

Disease outbreaks are reported to have affected Chinese and Vietnamese shrimp harvests, while floods have washed away the crop in Thailand.

But Indian farmers have a happier story. The farmed shrimp production has been substantially higher, Mr Hashim said. To add to that, the vannemei crop, which is being increasingly cultivated in India, is of a significantly bigger size, he said. However, the increased farmed production has been offset by lower catch from the sea.

The lower catches have ensured that shrimp prices have continued to remain firm in the global markets.

As of mid-June, seasonal harvest throughout Asia remained below that of last year.

In Thailand, the leading supplier to the international market, the seasonal harvest peak was only expected in July. It has been delayed by flooding and the production is expected to decline by 10-15 per cent this year. Thailand's domestic prices were expected to shoot up by 40 per cent.

In Viet Nam, shrimp farms have been affected by the worst outbreak of diseases in the seven provinces of the Mekong delta, which is prime aquaculture country. With the resultant raw material shortage, processing plants in the region are operating only at 50-60 per cent of capacity.

The situation was the reverse in South India, where bumper crops of vannamei shrimp have been harvested in June and July. With heavy arrivals, processing plants have been forced to operate at 150-200 per cent of their capacity by using two shifts. The demand for the Indian shrimp continues to be strong in the US markets without any dent in prices. The large vannamei shrimp from India has been commanding higher prices.

But the simultaneous arrivals of sea-caught and farmed shrimp in August resulted in the domestic prices ruling lower, Mr Hashim said. As arrivals dwindled, the domestic prices are now holding firm.

Farms have reported high productivity of 10 tonnes a hectare after shifting to vannamei, Mr Hashim said. The shift to vannamei cultivation has been reported more from South India while East India continues to farm black tiger. There has been a decline in black tiger output.