Export of marine products from India reached an all time high of Rs8,608 crore during 2008-09. Volume of export of seafood products rose 11.29 per cent to 6,02,835 tonnes while the rupee value of these exports increased 12.95 per cent compared to the exports during the previous year.
"This was a creditable achievement for the Indian seafood industry considering the great recession which has shaken even the strongest economies in the world. Right policies and interventions by Government of India / MPEDA and the pro-active role played by the industry helped in achieving the positive growth in exports for the fifth consecutive year in the most trying circumstances," chairperson of the Marine Products Export Development Agency (MPEDA), Leena Nair said.
During 2008-09, frozen shrimp continued to be the major export item accounting for 44 per cent of the total export earnings. Fish, the principal export item in quantity terms and the second largest export item in value, accounted for a share of about 40 per cent in quantity and 20 per cent in export earnings. Frozen fish recorded an export growth of about 8 per cent in quantity, 32 per cent in rupee value and 15 per cent in dollar earnings. Frozen cuttlefish contributed 8 per cent in quantity and about 9 per cent in value terms to the export basket. Export of frozen squid recorded a growth of 67 per cent in quantity, 55 per cent in rupee terms and 41 per cent in dollar terms. Export of all other items also recorded a growth during 2008-09.
While shrimp constituted about 44 per cent of the total exports from India, with a value of $839 million, export of shrimp last year too was lower at $152 million compared to its all time high of $394 million in 2002-03.
In 2008-09, the European Union (EU) remained the largest market for Indian seafood, accounting for 151,90 tonnes in quantity, Rs2,000 crore (32.5 per cent in rupee terms and $623 million (33 per cent) in dollar terms. The share of European market has come down from 35 per cent to 32.6 per cent in dollar terms during the year.
A very important feature of the export trend is the increase in exports to China. China got into the second place from the third position held last year, with a share of 15 per cent in dollar terms. Japan was relegated to the third position with an overall export of 57,271 tonnes, having a value of $278.61 million. The share of export to Japan has also gone down to 14.34 per cent from 16 per cent during the previous year. Exports to the US have fallen further to $227.29 million (-10.18 per cent), relegating it to the fourth position. But exports to USA have shown slight increase in quantity and rupee value.
Exports to South East Asia recorded a remarkable growth with 39 per cent increase in quantity, 52 per cent increase in rupee terms and 33 per cent increase in dollar term. The share of South East Asia has increased to 10 per cent from 7.5 per cent in dollar terms during the year. Exports to the Middle East also recorded a growth with 5.5 per cent increase in quantity, 20.8 per cent increase in rupee value and 7.3 per cent increase in dollar terms. The share of all other countries put together was 10.6 per cent.