Seafood export in India expected to cross $7 billion in FY22: Report

Hard hit by the disruption in export business during the COVID-19 pandemic, the seafood export in the country had declined by 11 per cent, only amounting to $5.96 billion in FY21. 

India is on course to surpass $7 billion in exports from the seafood sector in FY22 owing to the increasing demand for seafood in the US, which is the biggest export market for the seafood sector in India, and the record-high increase in the production of high quality vannamei shrimp witnessed in 2021. 

Hard hit by the disruption in export business during the COVID-19 pandemic, the seafood export in the country had declined by 11 per cent, only amounting to $5.96 billion in FY21. However, as shipments resume at full pace, coupled with the opening of the restaurant and service sector, the demand for seafood is expected to see a further increase in the coming months.

Jagdish Fofandi, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India believes that the market is looking good for seafood exporters, especially for those exporting to the US and China as countries are looking to buy more seafood despite the COVID-19 protocol.

He also disclosed that seeing the upwards trajectory of the sector, the Ministry of Commerce had asked the seafood exporters to raise their targets by 31 per cent to $7.8 billion in FY22. 

Ravi Kumar Yellenki, former president of the Society of Aquaculture Professionals, commented on the boost in the production of vannamei shrimp in the country, revealing that there has been a record harvest of 3.28 lakh tonnes in the first half of 2021. “This is higher than even the production in the first half of 2018, which has been the best so far,’’ he stated.

Lack of mandated low cargo shipping rates and a persisting shipping container shortage have been the two main roadblocks to the rise of the seafood export sector in the country. Ravi Kumar Yellenki assumes that the Centre can meet the set target for exports if these logistics issues are put to rest. 

Moreover, following the permission to import specific pathogen-free black tiger shrimp broodstock from suppliers in the US and Madagascar, the sector is expected to increase the harvest of good quality black tiger shrimp in the country which will subsequently lead to higher exports.

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