Ships Over USD 2.7 Billion worth Seafoods
Seafood exports from the country continued to grow, registering an all-time high for the recently ended fiscal FY22.
During the financial year 2021-22, India exported a total of 13,69,264 MT of Seafood worth US$ 7.76 Billion which is said to be an all time high by value. USA and China were the major importers of Indian seafood while frozen Shrimp continued to be the major export item.
Out of the total USD 7.76 billion seafood exports a whopping USD 5,828.59 Million i.e. USD 5.8 billion was frozen shrimp with a quantity of 7,28,123 MT. These accounted for a share of 53.18% in terms of quantity and 75.11% of the total USD earnings.
The state of Andhra Pradesh continued its dominance in the seafood exports wherein the state exported a whopping USD 2.72 billion in seafood exports out of the total USD 7.76 billion. This in value terms marked Andhra Pradesh’s share at 35.07% while in quantity terms it stood at 23.73%.
‘AP has been way ahead of the rest of the pack for many years’ said MPEDA’s chairman DR KN Raghavan, IRS speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan.
Out of the total USD 2.72 billion marine exports frozen shrimps was overwhelmingly the biggest export item. Frozen shrimps exported out of Andhra Pradesh accounted for a staggering USD 2.675billion while the rest was contributed by items such as frozen fish, FR cuttlefish, shilled items, dried items etc.
The US remained to be the top export market accounting for over USD 2 billion worth of frozen shrimps. The other key markets for exports out of Andhra Pradesh included China, European Union and Middle East (See Pie-graph). Dr Raghavan further opined Andhra Pradesh to have a bigger scope of growth keeping in mind its acreage under cultivation.’Out of the 1.8 lakh hectares of brackish water only about 95000 hectares have been utilized as of now. Thereby presenting huge room for growth’ said the MPEDA chairman. He also noted cage culture to be a great opportunity in the state.
While speaking on some of the challenges faced in the sector Dr Raghavan pointed out antibiotics, disease prevention, sustainability and value addition to be key areas if India needs to achieve the 1 lakh crore target (for marine exports) by 2025.
‘Just take value addition only 10% of our current exports have some value addition being done. This is miniscule when compared to a country like Thailand which does 70% of value addition’ said the chairman MPEDA.
Exploring Newer Markets
Terming EU to be a high value market he also emphasised on the need to explore newer markets for the country’s seafood exports and expanding its footprint. Some of the newer markets include Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, Australia etc.‘Many of our embassies abroad are carrying out surveys along with MPEDA to find new markets for our exports’ informed Dr Raghavan. A keen emphasis was also laid on aggrandizing the infrastructure at our fishing harbours and fishing vessels to help the country achieve the 1 lakh crore target.