India must tap more of its domestic market for shrimps through improved cold-chain infrastructure so as to absorb fluctuations in international trade of the commodity owing to stiff competition from Latin America and South-East Asia, experts at the 23rd India International Seafood Show (IISS) said.
As Ecuador and Indonesia are “dumping” their seafood items in the US market at far cheaper prices, India can start focusing on domestic consumers who can potentially absorb almost one-third of the national shrimp production, experts told a technical session.
While domestic prices are better than international prices for many species of capture and culture fish, India’s internal markets can absorb 30 percent of the shrimp in the country, presentations on ‘Seafood Trade and Market Access’ said.
Issue of branding
India’s industry, when it comes to country branding, must come together and follow the example of Ecuador, which has achieved a meteoric post-pandemic rise in shrimp production due to a stronger market share in the US, they said.
All the same, India is showing signs of product diversification that is guarding it against “too much” direct competition. Only, the country must tap its “immense” scope for value-added marine products. India is able to “comfortably market” its non-shrimp items to all countries, but authorities must go for better conciliation of non-tariff barriers, they added.
SEAI Secretary-General Elias Sait said Ecuador and Indonesia are not on the US anti-dumping duty radar, whereas India was being imposed a duty of two percent or more. Overall, India’s export basket is dominated by shrimp, constituting almost 75 percent in value terms and 55 percent in quantity terms.
Tapan Mazumder, Additional Director-General of Foreign Trade, said the government is renegotiating an enhanced FTA with South Korea, where it exported 3,864 tonnes of seafood. “One round of the discussions is over, and the second is slated for next month,” he said.
This is what has been suggested again and again by Dr Manoj Sharma, an Indian aqua expert on various national and international platforms.
Source: The Business line