Indian shrimp exports to the US during April this year is seen higher by 25 % or 4,480 tonne when compared with the figures of April last year. According to the latest data of US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, India exported 22,229 tonne of shrimp during April 2020 as against 17,749 tonne in April 2019. US imported 51,634 tonne during the month this year as against 48,613 tonne in April 2019.
India is the largest exporter of shrimps to the US, followed by Indonesia with 13,804 tonne. India is the largest producer of farmed shrimps in the world and accounts for nearly 6% of the global fish production.
During 2019, India accounted for 282,584 tonne of shrimps from the total US import of 698,445 tonne.
Jagdish Fofandi, national president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), said that April data may not be a correct indicator as the shipments made in April would have been harvested and processed some days before the real lockdown began.
During the initial days of the lockdown, the seafood sector was working at 20-25% capacity with most of the laboratories closed. Labour and vehicle movement were also constrained in most of the coastal states.
“I think the real impact of the lockdown will be felt in the May and June shipment because of the labour and other constraints. The achievement in April is really good given the overall constraints,” he said.
“Indian exports, especially to the US, are likely to increase in the coming months with the Indian processors being proactive in the retail market in the recent past.”
He added the consumption of seafood in the retail sector in the US and EU has been higher for April and May with people stocking more in anticipation of a shortage.
Indian seafood exports to the US has been hampered in the recent past due to higher anti-dumping duty and impact of the implementation of Seafood Import Monitoring Programme (SIMP) . SIMP for shrimp exports to the US mandates stringent data requirements to trace the entire supply chain of seafood from the point-of-harvest to the point-of-entry in the US.