India's seafood exports scale record high, US & China top buyers

by IANS |

New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The quantity of India’s seafood exports touched an all-time high during the financial year 2023-24 with the USA and China emerging as the top importers, according to a Commerce Ministry statement released on Wednesday.

India shipped 17,81,602 metric tonnes (MT) of seafood worth Rs 60,523.89 crore ($7.38 billion) during 2023-24.

Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in quantity and value, while the USA and China became the major importers of India’s seafood. During FY 2023-24, the export improved in quantity terms by 2.67 per cent. In 2022-23, India exported 17,35,286 MT of seafood worth Rs 63,969.14 crore ($8,094.31 million).

“India recorded an all-time high export in terms of volume despite the several challenges in its major export markets like the USA, EU and the UK,” said D V Swamy, chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

Frozen shrimp, which earned Rs 40,013.54 crore ($4.9 billion), retained its position as the top item in the seafood export basket, accounting for a share of 40.19 per cent in quantity and 66.12 per cent of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 0.69 per cent in quantity terms.

The export of frozen shrimps during 2023-24 was pegged at 7,16,004 MT. The USA, the largest market, imported 2,97,571 MT of frozen shrimp, followed by China (1,48,483MT), the European Union (89,697 MT), Southeast Asia (52,254MT), Japan (35,906MT) and the Middle East (28,571 MT).

The export of black tiger (BT) shrimp increased by 24.91 per cent, 11.33 per cent and 8.28 per cent in terms of quantity, value (Rupees) and US dollar, respectively, in 2023-24. BT shrimps were exported to the tune of 38,987 MT worth Rs 2855.27 crore ($347.84 million).

Frozen fish, the second largest exported item, fetched Rs 5,509.69 crore ($671.17 million), accounting for 21.42 per cent in quantity and 9.09 per cent in US dollar earnings. This year, the export of frozen fish increased by 3.54 per cent and 0.12 per cent in terms of quantity and value (Rupee), respectively; however, it declined by 2.31 per cent in terms of US dollar.

The USA continued to be the major importer of Indian seafood in terms of value, with an import worth $2,549.15 million, accounting for a share of 34.53 per cent in terms of US dollar value.

China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan) emerged as the second largest seafood export destination country for India in terms of US dollar with an import volume of 4,51,363 MT worth $1,384.89 million, accounting for 25.33 per cent share in quantity and 18.76 per cent in US dollar terms.

Japan is the third largest importer, with a share of 6.06 per cent in quantity and 5.42 per cent in US dollar value terms. Frozen shrimp continued to be the major item of exports to Japan, with a share of 33.26 per cent in quantity, 65.94 per cent in Rupee and 65.98 per cent in US dollar value.

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