1. Agriculture World

Seafood Export Unlikely to Meet $ 7.8 Billion Target due to Weak Overseas Demand

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi

India's seafood export goal of $7.8 billion is unlikely to be realized for 2021-22, as rising cases of infectious disease have caused a business slump in Europe and the UK markets, among other issues that have exporters on edge.

The Chinese situation is deteriorating, as the country continues to suspend Indian plants due to the alleged presence of virus nucleic acid on seafood packaging materials. According to industry sources, this has caused exporters to be hesitant to ship to China, which is a good market for Indian marine products.

Chinese Exports Hit

"We continue to have issues with the Chinese market." We are now concerned about the EU markets as a result of the virus breakout. "Due to container shortages and late vessel calls, we were unable to commit to deliveries for the Christmas and New Year sales," said Alex K Ninan, President of the Seafood Exporters Association of India-Kerala region.

According to industry sources, global restrictions and lockdown due to virus, a multi-fold increase in freight charges, and a shortage of air cargo flights are some of the challenges faced by the sector, adding to shippers' woes.

Despite this infectious disease and logistics challenges, officials from the Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) stated that 69% of the $5.3 billion export target had been met as of November 2021. Balance exports of $2.4 billion are expected to be completed by March of this year.

Ninan stated that there is a scarcity of sufficient catch from the seas as a result of climatic change. Furthermore, rising diesel prices have forced trawling boat operators to abandon fishing. As a result, several export-oriented varieties, such as shrimp, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, and a variety of fishes, are in short supply in fish landing centres. In general, the West Coast, particularly Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, where sea catch is higher, has been severely impacted.

Aquaculture Focus:

The East Coast is primarily dependent on aquaculture, but farmers were hesitant to seed for the next crop last year due to low overseas demand caused by the pandemic. As a result, the sector anticipates lower availability of materials in the coming seasons, he added.

In the midst of the pandemic, there is a ray of hope from the Gulf markets, which reported a 20% growth between April and December. According to industry sources, shipments to West Asia increased by 54% over the target of $41.3 crore in 2021-22.

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