India’s exports of marine products fell by 10.88 per cent to $ 5.96 billion (Rs 43,717.26 crore) during 2020-21 due to the pandemic and sluggish overseas markets, the commerce ministry said. “The COVID-19 pandemic and sluggish overseas markets cast their shadow over India’s resurgent seafood sector as the country exported 11,49,341 tonnes of marine products worth $ 5.96 billion,” it said.
The ministry said that the US, China and the European Union were the leading importers, while frozen shrimp retained its position as the major export item, followed by frozen fish. In 2019-20, India exported 12,89,651 tonnes of seafood worth Rs 46,662.85 crore (USD 6.68 billion). It was 11,49,341 tonnes in 2020-21.
Frozen shrimp contributed 51.36 per cent in quantity and 74.31 per cent of the total dollar earnings. The US remained its largest importer (2,72,041 tonnes), followed by China (1,01,846 tonnes), the EU (70,133 tonnes), Japan (40,502 tonnes), South East Asia (38,389 tonnes), and the Middle East (29,108 tonnes).
However, shrimp exports declined by 9.47 per cent in dollar value and 9.50 per cent in quantity. The overall shrimps export was 5,90,275 million tonnes worth 4,426.19 million dollars. The export of Vannamei (whiteleg) shrimp decreased from 5,12,204 million tonnes to 4,92,271 million tonnes in 2020-21. Of the total Vannamei shrimp exports in dollar value, 56.37 per cent was exported to USA, followed by China (15.13 per cent), EU (7.83 per cent), South East Asia (5.76 per cent), Japan (4.96 per cent) and the Middle East (3.59 per cent).
The US, with imports of 2,91,948 tonnes, continued to be the major importer of Indian seafood with a share of 41.15 per cent in dollar terms, the statement said. China, with an import of 2,18,343 tonnes of seafood worth USD 939.17 million, remained the second largest market with a share of 15.77 per cent in dollar earnings and 19 per cent in quantity terms.
Japan, the major market for Black Tiger (Penaeus monodon) shrimp, had a share of 39.68 per cent in dollar terms, followed by USA (26.03 per cent), South East Asia (9.32 per cent), EU (8.95 per cent), the Middle East (6.04 per cent) and China (3.76 per cent).