India’s Seafood Exports Hit Record High in Volume but See 5.38% Decline in Value

Despite touching an all-time high volume, India’s seafood exports declined by 5.38 % to touch Rs 60,523.89 crore during the financial year 2023-24 from Rs 63,969.14 crore in the previous year. In dollar terms, the seafood exports fell 8.77% from USD 8.09 billion to USD 7.38 billion.

India shipped 17,81,602 MT of seafood during 2023-24 with frozen shrimp remaining the major export item in quantity and value, while the USA and China became the major importers of India’s seafood, an official release said here.

During FY 2023-24, the export improved in quantity terms by 2.67%. “India recorded an all-time high export in terms of volume by shipping 17,81,602 MT of seafood worth USD 7.38 billion, despite the several challenges in its major export markets like the USA, EU and the UK,” D V Swamy, chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said.

Frozen shrimp, which earned Rs 40,013.54 crore (USD 4881.27million), retained its position as the top item in the seafood export basket, accounting for a share of 40.19% in quantity and 66.12% of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 0.69% in quantity terms. The export of frozen shrimps during 2023-24 was pegged at 7,16,004MT.

The USA, the largest market, imported (2,97,571 MT) of frozen shrimp, followed by China (1,48,483MT), the European Union (89,697MT), Southeast Asia (52,254MT),Japan (35,906MT), and the Middle East (28,571MT).

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

China (including Hongkong) turned out to be the major export destination for black tiger shrimp with a share of 28.43% in terms of US value, followed by the USA (18.21%), European Union (18.06%) and Japan (13.12%). Scampi exports have shown a positive trend of 6.42%, 23.22% and 18.96% in quantity, value rupee and US dollar terms, respectively, in 2023-24. The Vannamei shrimp exports have grown in 2023-24 by 0.33% by volume; however, they declined by 11.56% from USD 4809.99 million to USD 4253.86 million.

Other Major Export Items

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

Fish and shrimp- meal & feed non-edible dried items, the 3rd most prominent item in the export basket, earned Rs 3684.79 crore (USD 449.17 million), accounting for 15.89 per cent share in quantity and 6.08 per cent in dollar earnings, showing an increase of 15.99%, 34.07% and 31.52% by quantity, value  and USD  terms. Exports in this group were exported to the tune of 2,83,019 MT. Unit value growth observed in this group was 13.38%.

Frozen squid, the 4th largest export item, fetched Rs 3061.46crore (USD 373.40million), accounting for a 5.25 per cent share in quantity and 5.06 per cent in dollar earnings. The export of frozen squid increased by 11.52% in quantity terms.

The export of Surimi and Surimi Analogs, at the 5th most significant position, pegged at 1,35,327 MT, grew 4.12% in quantity terms and earned Rs 2,414.43 crores (USD 294.43 million).

The export of frozen Cuttlefish, at the 6th most prominent position, pegged at 54,316 MT worth Rs 2252.63 crores (USD 274.62 million), accounting for 3.05 per cent share in quantity and 3.72 per cent in USD earnings.

The export of chilled items at the 7th most prominent position, which is considered a promising sector, also increased by 47.06 % in quantity terms and 8.66%in US USD  terms. Frozen Octopus, the 8th largest export item, fetched USD 62.17 million, followed by fish oil (USD 58.51 million), live items (USD 48.61 million), dried edible items (US USD 37.60 million), frozen lobster (USD 33.67 million), and fish maws (USD 16.76 million).

Major Export Destinations

As for overseas markets, the USA continued to be the major importer of Indian seafood in value terms, with an import worth US USD 2,549.15million, accounting for a share of 34.53% in terms of $ value. Exports to the US increased by 7.46% and 1.42% in quantity and value terms; however, they declined by 3.15% in dollar terms. Frozen shrimp continued to be the principal item exported to the US, with a share of 91.90% in US terms. Exports of black tiger shrimp to the US increased by 35.37% in quantity terms and 32.35% in value in US terms.

China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan) emerged as the2 nd largest seafood export destination country for India in terms of US dollar with an import volume of 4,51,363 MT worthUS USD 1,384.89million, accounting for 25.33% share in quantity and 18.76% in US USD terms.

Exports to China grew by 12.80% in quantity; however, they declined by 0.88% in value and 4.21% in USD value. Frozen shrimp, the major item of exports to China, had a share of 32% in quantity and 55.11% in USD value, while frozen fish had a second most share of 36.83% in quantity and 21.56% in terms of USD value out of the total exports to China.

Japan is the third largest importer, with a share of 6.06% in quantity and 5.42% in USD value terms.

Source: The New Indian Express