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Rising White Shrimp Production Pushes Up Exports

INDIA - Rising production and export of vannamei or white shrimps is likely to help Indian seafood exports record an impressive performance in the current financial year, officials of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) said.

Strong demand from South Asian countries and revival in the US market are also helping the sector, national president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) Anwar Hashim, told FE.

Hashim estimates that more than 20,000 tonne of vannamei shrimps is expected to be exported in the current financial year giving a competitive edge to Indian exporters on prices. According to figures of the Marine Exports Product Development Authority (MPEDA), exports during the four-month period of April-July 2010 is up by 23 per cent as compared to the same period last year. Exports in 2009-10 aggregated to 663,603 tonne valued at Rs 9,921.46 crore ($2,105.60 million).

According to The Financial Express, India started farming vannamei shrimps in 2010 following stiff competition from countries like Thailand and China in the global market.

India produces mainly black tiger shrimp and processing facilities are running at only about 30 per cent of their capacity. Export rivals in Asia, such as Thailand, Viet Nam and Indonesia, have already introduced this variety which lead to a jump in their production. Black tiger shrimps have higher production costs and lower yields than vannamei.

According to SEAI sources, the cost of production of vannamei is $2.29 per kgwhich is just half the cost of producing other Indian shrimp species.

Buying in the US and EU market has improved and a global shortage of shrimps is helping us get better value. Hopefully, after the fifth administrative review of ant-dumping duty things will improve very fast, Mr Hashim said.

He added that buying from South Asian countries, which include China, has been sustained. China with a share of 17.73 per cent of the total exports in 2009-10 is proving to be major focus for Indian exports in the future. South East Asia countries with 14.61 per cent of the share follow China.

The only damper has been the appreciation of the Indian Rupee which has eroded profit margins. The increased catch in Indian coast has helped us withstand the loss suffered in exports, he added.

In the west coast of India landing of squid and cuttle fish, which are exported to China, have increased substantially in the last few months, helping in controlling the input cost. The sector has been further aided by the revival of aquaculture.

the Fish Site Editor

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