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Shrimp exports: India turns world No1 in 2016, UK warns of ban

Staff Writer |
India claimed the top spot in shrimp exports to the global market in 2016 with an unprecedented 14.5% growth over the previous year, according to a trade report by FAO’s Globefish.

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The report says that India also achieved the distinction of 130% growth in the exports of value-added shrimp, growing from 10,100 tonne in 2015 to 23,400 tonne in 2016, mostly directed to the US market.

India is the second-largest fish producer in the world after China and accounts for nearly 6% of global fish production.

Seafood exports from the country hit an all-time high last fiscal with the total revenue touching $5.78 billion, or Rs 37,870.90 crore, by exporting 11,34,948 tonne seafood products, largely due to a robust demand for frozen shrimp and fish.

According to Globefish, the top five shrimp exporters to the international market in 2016 were India (438,500 tonne, +14.5%), Vietnam (425,000 tonne, +18–20 %), Ecuador (372,600 tonne, +7.8%), Indonesia (220,000 tonne, +21%) and Thailand (209,400 tonne, +22%).

India’s top export markets include the US, Vietnam, the EU and Japan. Indian seafood exports to the US is seen recouping its losses suffered due to the punitive tariff imposed by US department of commerce (USDOC) in 2004 with the help of higher production of vannamei shrimp, which is cheaper than the traditional black tiger.

Shrimp importers in the United Kingdom have warned the Indian Government of an imminent ban on seafood exports from the country by the European Union (EU).

The warning that the European market could be closed to the Indian aquaculture shrimp within two-three months was stated in a letter British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) chief executive officer John Hyman sent to Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Business Standard reported.

“During a very productive meeting on August 8, 2017, with Sarvesh Rai of the Indian Mission to the EU, we were informed that India has undertaken several steps to satisfy the European Commission. The indications we are receiving from the commission are that these are not enough,” the letter reads.

The EU is apparently unhappy due to increasing incidences of traces of antibiotics being found in seafood products from India. In 2016-17, the EU accounted for 18 per cent of the USD 5.78-billion seafood exports from India.

In addition, BFFF president has urged the Indian minister to redouble efforts to appease the commission and to prevent the ban. It has also asked India to overhaul the aquaculture export safety system and has also offered its expertise and perspective to resolve the issue.

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