Indian shrimp exports to the US increased 6.6 per cent year-on-year in August at 31,676 tonnes after recording a decline during May-July 2020 due to pandemic related constraints, according to the latest data of US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Total shrimp demand in United States for August is also on the higher side at 82,233 tonnes as against 70,153 tonnes in the previous year.
India is the largest producer of farmed shrimps in the world and accounts for nearly 6 per cent of the global fish production. During 2019, India accounted for 2,82,584 tonnes of shrimps from the total US import of 698,445 tonnes.
During the initial days of the lockdown, the seafood sector was working at about 20-25 per cent capacity with most of the laboratories closed. Labour and vehicle movement was also constrained in most of the coastal states. Seed stocking and seeding was also on the lower side with farmers concerned about a glut in the market without exports.
The Marine Products Export Development Authority has reported that in the initial period of lockdown, there was 30-40 per cent reduced stocking of shrimps by farmers. It also led to cancellation of several orders, reduced and delayed payments, slowdown of cargo movements, difficulty in getting new orders and renewal of existing orders.
Export of frozen shrimps from India to all markets during 2019-20 was pegged at 6.52 lakh tonnes, which fetched foreign exchange worth $ 4,89 billion. US, the largest market, is followed by China with 1, 45,710 tonnes.
Frozen shrimp exports which earned Rs 34,152.03 crore ($4,889.12 million), retained its position as the most significant item in the basket of seafood exports, accounting for a share of 50.58 per cent in quantity and 73.21 per cent of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 6.04 per cent in dollar value and 6.20 per cent in volumes.