India’s seafood exports reach all-time high by volume in FY 2023-24

India’s seafood exports reach all-time high by volume in FY 2023-24

New Delhi: India’s seafood exports touched an all-time high in volume during the financial year 2023-24 despite various challenges in significant export markets. India shipped 17,81,602 metric tonnes of seafood worth ₹60,523.89 crore (US$7.38 billion) during 2023-24, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India said in a statement today.

According to the ministry figures, frozen shrimp remained the major export item in quantity and value, while the USA and China became the major importers of India’s seafood. During FY 2023-24, the export improved in quantity terms by 2.67 per cent. In 2022-23, India exported 17,35,286 MT of seafood worth ₹63,969.14 crore (US$ 8,094.31 million).

“India recorded an all-time high export in terms of volume by shipping 17,81,602 MT of seafood worth US$ 7.38 billion, despite the several challenges in its major export markets like the USA, EU & the UK,” DV Swamy, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said.

Frozen shrimp, which earned ₹40,013.54 crore (US$4881.27million), retained its position as the top item in the seafood exports’ basket, accounting for a share of 40.19 per cent in quantity and 66.12 per cent of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 0.69 per cent in quantity terms.

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The frozen shrimp export during 2023-24 was pegged at 7,16,004 MT. The USA, the largest market, imported 297,571 MT of frozen shrimp, followed by China (1,48,483MT), the European Union (89,697 MT), Southeast Asia (52,254MT), Japan (35,906MT), and the Middle East (28,571 MT).

The export of black tiger (BT) shrimp increased by 24.91 per cent, 11.33 per cent and 8.28 per cent in quantity, value ₹ and US$ terms, respectively, in 2023-24. BT shrimps were exported to the tune of 38,987 MT worth ₹2855.27 Cr (US$347.84 million). China (including Hong Kong) turned out to be the major export destination for black tiger shrimp with a share of 28.43 per cent in terms of US$ value, followed by the USA (18.21 per cent), European Union (18.06 per cent) and Japan (13.12 per cent). Scampi exports have shown a positive trend of 6.42 per cent, 23.22 per cent and 18.96 per cent in quantity, value ₹ and US$ terms, respectively, in 2023-24. The Vannamei shrimp exports have grown in 2023-24 by 0.33 per cent by volume; however, they declined by 11.56 per cent from US$ 4809.99 million to US$ 4253.86 million.

Frozen fish exports

Frozen fish, the second largest exported item, fetched ₹5,509.69 crore (US$671.17 million), accounting for 21.42 per cent in quantity and 9.09 per cent in US$ earnings. This year, the export of frozen fish increased by 3.54 per cent and 0.12 per cent in quantity and value ₹ terms, respectively; however, it declined by 2.31 per cent in US$ terms.

Other major seafood exports

Fish and shrimp- meal and feed- non-edible dried items, the third most prominent item in the seafood exports’ basket, earned ₹3684.79 crore (US$ 449.17 million), accounting for 15.89 per cent share in quantity and 6.08 per cent in dollar earnings, showing an increase of 15.99 per cent, 34.07 per cent and 31.52 per cent by quantity, value ₹ and US$ terms. Exports in this group were exported to the tune of 2,83,019 MT. Unit value growth observed in this group was 13.38 per cent.

Frozen squid, the fourth largest export item, fetched ₹3061.46 crore (US$ 373.40 million), accounting for a 5.25 per cent share in quantity and 5.06 per cent in dollar earnings. The export of frozen squid increased by 11.52 per cent in quantity terms.

The export of Surimi and Surimi Analogs, at the fifth most significant position, pegged at 1,35,327 MT, grew 4.12 per cent in quantity terms and earned ₹2,414.43 crores (US$294.43 million).

The export of frozen cuttlefish, at the sixth most prominent position, pegged at 54,316 MT worth ₹2252.63 crores (274.62 US$ million), accounting for 3.05 per cent share in quantity and 3.72 per cent in US$ earnings.

The export of chilled items at the seventh most prominent position, which is considered a promising sector, also increased by 47.06 per cent in quantity terms and 8.66 per cent in US$ terms.

Frozen octopus, the eighth largest export item, fetched US$62.17 million, followed by fish oil (US$58.51 million), live items (US$48.61 million), dried edible items (US$ 37.60 million), Frozen lobster (US$ 33.67 million), and fish maws (US$ 16.76 million).

Major destinations for seafood exports

As for overseas markets, the USA continued to be the major importer of Indian seafood in value terms, with an import worth US$2,549.15 million, accounting for a share of 34.53 per cent in terms of US$ value. Exports to the US increased by 7.46 per cent and 1.42 per cent in quantity and value ₹ terms; however, they declined by 3.15 per cent in US$ terms. Frozen shrimp continued to be the principal item exported to the US, with a share of 91.90 per cent in US terms. Exports of black tiger shrimp to the US increased by 35.37 per cent in quantity terms and 32.35 per cent in value in US terms.

China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan) emerged as the second largest destination country for seafood exports for India in terms of US$ with an import volume of 4,51,363 MT worth US$1,384.89 million, accounting for 25.33 per cent quantity share and 18.76 per cent in US$ terms. Exports to China grew by 12.80 per cent in quantity; however, they declined by 0.88 per cent in ₹ value and 4.21 per cent in US$ value. Frozen shrimp, the major item of exports to China, had a share of 32 per cent in quantity and 55.11 per cent in US$ value, while frozen fish had a second most share of 36.83 per cent in quantity and 21.56 per cent in terms of US$ value out of the total exports to China.

Japan is the third largest importer, with a share of 6.06 per cent in quantity and 5.42 per cent in US$ value terms. Frozen shrimp continued to be the major item of exports to Japan, with a share of 33.26 per cent in quantity, 65.94 per cent in ₹, and 65.98 per cent in US$ value.

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Vietnam holds the fourth largest market position, importing 132,086 MT worth US$ 391.41 million. Frozen shrimp dominates the import with a share of 55.43 per cent in US$ earnings and 30.11 per cent in quantity, followed by dried items.

Thailand is the fifth largest market, with a US$ share of 3.82 per cent and a third-place position by volume (7.77 per cent share), with 138,457 MT worth US$ 281.97 million. Frozen fish remained the significant item exported to Thailand, accounting for a share of 44.37 per cent in US$ earnings and 63.91 per cent in quantity.

Canada ranks as the sixth largest market in US$ (2.70 per cent share) and tenth position by volume (1.40 per cent share) terms, with 24,956 MT worth US$ 199.13 million. Frozen shrimp dominates the exports to Canada, with a share of 93.36 per cent in US$ earnings and 89.48 per cent in quantity terms.

Spain is the seventh largest market in US$ (2.65 per cent share) and sixth largest by volume (2.24 per cent share), with an export volume of 39,849 MT worth US$ 195.95 million. Frozen cuttlefish continued to be the significant item exported to Spain, with a share of 44.01 per cent in US$ and 33.01 per cent in quantity terms.

Belgium ranks eighth among seafood export destinations for India with US$ share of 2.42 per cent followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (2.15 per cent share) and Italy (2.14 per cent share). The top 10 markets contribute 79.89 per cent in US$ terms.

(All figures are based on a report by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.)

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