Indian seafood export may touch $7 billion in FY22

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Indian seafood export may touch $7 billion in FY22


Strong US demand and record Vannamei shrimp production in the first half of 2021, as well as the introduction of pathogen-free farming populations for black tiger shrimp, have raised hopes that the Indian fishing industry will reach the export mark of $ 7 billion in fiscal year 22. Seafood exports out of the country fell approximately 11 percent to $ 5.96 billion year-over-year in fiscal year 21 as COVID19 disrupted shipments. However, in recent months, demand in the US, India's main market, has been booming and farmers have harvested a record amount of Vannamei shrimp, which makes up a large part of the export basket. 

Center's export goal

Despite continuing container shortages and high freight rates, the fishing industry is working toward the center's export goal. The centre has increase exports goal by 31 percent to $ 7.8 billion in fiscal year 22. Right now, the market is looking good with prices on the rise. Demand from the United States is strong while China, India's second-largest market, has started buying more despite the COVID protocol. In 2021 there was a record harvest of 3.28 lakh tonnes. This is even higher than production in the first half of 2018

Experts assumes that a good  shrimp production in the second half of the year, together with a good catch from the sea, will help the industry to achieve the goal set by the center, provided that the logistical bottlenecks are resolved quickly. Before the arrival of Vannamei shrimp more than a decade ago, black tiger shrimp  dominated India's fish exports, its share has now dropped to more than 10 percent, with the comparatively disease resistant Vannamei shrimp having the upper hand. Specific pathogen free (SPF) black tiger shrimp farming populations have been approved by two vendors in the US and Madagascar, which could increase their share of exports.

Increased demand in the US

Farmers were encouraged by the increase in demand in the US, where the focus was on the retail market when the pandemic broke out, now the restaurants are open and the foodservice sector appears to have recovered strongly. At the same time, people have gotten used to eating shrimp at home. So the combined strength of the retail and foodservice sectors has increased demand in the US.

India imports 90 percent of Vannamei broodstock from the United States for seed supply to farmers. Imports hit a new record of over 2.5 lakh in fiscal year 21, which is reflected in increased production and export of seafood this year, industry circles said there were record exports in June and July. The export to the United States has increased by 3540 percent this year and most exporters  completed their large shipments in the first few months of the fiscal year.

Lower Production

Industry expects lower production in the second half of the year due to widespread diseases in the farms in Andhra Pradesh, which produce nearly  70 percent of aquaculture shrimps in the country, falling  to 7 lakhs tonnes, more than production in 2020 but less than in 2019.

SPF broodstock stock comes to the rescue

However, this can be largely offset by the introduction of the importation of SPF black tiger shrimp brood stock to India. Previously, when the tiger calf population was taken from the wild, about 70 percent were susceptible to disease, so they have been replaced by Vannamei, which are more resistant to disease. But now, with the importation of  SPF broodstock, the prevalence of diseases  in tiger shrimp is reduced., unlike Vannamei, tiger prawns can be harvested in large sizes and therefore can fetch better prices.  Japan, which last year lifted its inspection of India's black tiger prawns, accounts for about 40 percent of the country's exports. In addition to the United States, China, which  currently relies on Vietnam for its tiger shrimp supply, is said to be buying more and more from India. Industry Exporters say that this year, many farmers chose Black Tiger Shrimps.

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