India exported seafood stock worth $158.78 million during the last financial year. This year markets in the US, UK, rest of Europe and China are stressed. In addition, Indian goods reflect duty in the price tag and many countries are reluctant to lift the stocks. (File Photo/DC)
Visakhapatnam: India, which earns sizable foreign exchange from seafood exports, is unlikely to reach the target of $8.4 billion this fiscal due to market stress in both Europe and the US.
India exports seafood to over 123 countries, with the US and China being the top importers. It exported over six lakh tonnes of seafood in the last financial year, earning $7.7 billion. Andhra Pradesh accounted for 60 per cent of this export basket.
“This will not happen this year. We are overstocked like never before.
Markets in the US, UK, rest of Europe and China are stressed,’’ said
Gujarat-based exporter and president of the seafood exporters association of India, Jagdish Fofanti.
Fofanti told Deccan Chronicle that the recessionary trends remained high in the UK and other European countries. This apart, he said, there was an inflow of goods to Europe from countries like Indonesia and Ecuador.
“China is following the zero-Covid-19 policy and lifting much of the stocks from Ecuador. China was to import 70 per cent of its stock from India but it has turned to Ecuador now. Ecuador has tripled its production, flooding the markets with this commodity for the last one year and the demand for its product steadily increased,” he said.
Indian goods also reflected duty in its price tag and many countries were reluctant to lift the stocks. Bangladesh and Vietnam have advantages in this respect.
Another exporter said export of ocean catch has declined in the last few months, particularly squid fish to the US. India exported this stock worth $158.78 million during the last financial year.
Sources said MPEDA has been looking to ramp up seafood exports into newer markets with the aim of diversification and stress on disease-free products.
“We have to do away with the white spot syndrome for which Australia cut down its imports from India,’’ said general secretary of SEAI, Pawan Kumar Guntur, a Vizag-based seafood exporter.
He said India should speed up the Free Trade Agreement with importers to give relief from Customs duty. After Vietnam signed an FTA with Europe, many Indian exporters lost their markets. India signed an FTA with Australia last week, he said.
The exporter also suggested more value-addition to its product so as to
increase the value and volume of the exports. Currently 40 per cent of the products are value-added, he said.
Technology & Misc