In 2015-16 India suffered a setback as it witnessed a downfall of 10-15% in the seafood exports due to a production dip and sluggish prices. However, the scenario has changed now with improvement in prices which has encouraged producers to increase supply.
“Till a few months back the industry was not bullish. But the present trend is encouraging for India with other seafood producing regions under stress. Even a major supplier like Ecuador, which was hit by an earthquake, may not achieve regular volume growth. The export may go up by 15% to 20% from a year ago,” said Rahul Kulkarni, director of West Coast group, a major exporter. Currently, India is a major supplier of Vannamei shrimp to US and South East Asian countries.
The country’s aquaculture production dropped below 4 lakh tonnes in 2015-16 as the prices fell. The supply was also hit due to a scattered occurrence of diseases. However, so far the prospects have been good this year. “This time, judging from the first harvest, aquaculture shrimp production should cross 4 lakh tonnes. Farms in some regions like Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha and West Godavari are doing well,” said S Muthukaruppan, former president of Society of Aquaculture Professionals, adding that the farms have also been free from diseases.
Farms that are mostly concentrated in Andhra Pradesh are encouraged by the improvement in shrimp prices in world markets to increase harvest.
“Farmers should get better prices unlike the case last year The prices of 30 count shrimp have touched Rs 500 a kg, up by over 60% from last year,” said Satyanarayana, export manager of Nekkanti Seafood.