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Seafood exports drop by 30 percent

Posted on Oct 07, 02:31PM | IANS

While for the first time in the history of marine product exports in the last fiscal, India's export earnings had crossed USD 3.5 billion, this fiscal till the end of August, exports have dropped to the extend of 30 per cent.

Speaking to IANS, a top official of the industry said the primary reason is the recession in the US and Europe, the major export market for Indian seafood.

"The 30 percent drop from April to August this year is in comparison to the same period in 2011. This is not just the case for Indian seafood exports but the overall scenario," said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

This poor show has come at a time when in the last fiscal seafood export had crossed all previous records in quantity, rupee value and US dollar terms.

Exports during 2011-12 aggregated to 862,021 tonnes valued at Rs.16,597.23 crores (USD 3,508.45 million).

Seafood exports recorded a growth of 6.02 percent in quantity, 28.65 percent in rupee terms and 22.81 percent growth in US dollar earnings, over the 2010-11 fiscal.

In the last fiscal, exports to the European Union and the US jointly accounted for 41.13 percent of the total seafood exports in USUSD terms, with a combined lifting of 26 percent of the total quantity of the total seafood quantity exported from the country.

"If there is no drastic change in the economy in these countries, things do not augur well for seafood exports. The markets are weak and buying does not happen as it used to. If things do not change in the coming one month, when buyers give fresh orders for the Christmas season, then it will be really difficult to catch up with the export figures in the last fiscal," said a top seafood exporter told IANS.

Frozen shrimp is the major export value item accounting for 49.63 percent of the total US dollar earnings.