Caught a Flying Fish? India’s Seafood Exports Touch All-Time High

India’s seafood export sector saw a notable shift in the financial year 2023-24, achieving an all-time high in export volume, even though facing a decline in overall value. We shipped 17,81,602 metric tons (MT) of seafood, marking a 2.67% increase from the previous year, according to an official release. However, despite this volume milestone, the export value fell by 5.38% to INR 60,523.89 crore, compared to Rs 63,969.14 crore in the previous financial year.

Frozen shrimp maintained its status as the top export item both in terms of quantity and value, with the USA and China emerging as the primary importers of India’s seafood. D V Swamy, Chairman of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), highlighted that the record volume was achieved despite facing significant challenges in major markets such as the USA, EU, and the UK.

Key Export Items and Trends

Frozen Shrimp:

  • Export volume: 7,16,004 MT
  • Earnings: INR 40,013.54 crore ($4881.27 million)
  • Share: 40.19% of total export quantity and 66.12% of total dollar earnings
  • Major markets: USA (2,97,571 MT), China (1,48,483 MT), European Union (89,697 MT), Southeast Asia (52,254 MT), Japan (35,906 MT), Middle East (28,571 MT)

Black Tiger Shrimp:

  • Export volume: 38,987 MT
  • Earnings: INR 2855.27 crore ($347.84 million)
  • Growth: 24.91% in quantity, 11.33% in value, 8.28% in dollar terms
  • Major markets: China (28.43% share in US value), USA (18.21%), European Union (18.06%), Japan (13.12%)

Other Major Export Items:

  • Frozen Fish: INR 5,509.69 crore ($671.17 million), with a slight increase in quantity (3.54%) and value (0.12%)
  • Fish and Shrimp Meal & Feed: INR 3684.79 crore ($449.17 million), showing significant growth across all metrics
  • Frozen Squid: INR 3061.46 crore ($373.40 million), with an 11.52% increase in quantity
  • Surimi and Surimi Analogs: INR 2,414.43 crore ($294.43 million), with a 4.12% increase in quantity
  • Frozen Cuttlefish: INR 2252.63 crore ($274.62 million)
  • Chilled Items: Notably increased by 47.06% in quantity and 8.66% in dollar terms

Major Export Destinations

United States:

  • Import value: $2,549.15 million
  • Share: 34.53% of total dollar earnings
  • Major import: Frozen shrimp (91.90% of US imports)
  • Black Tiger shrimp imports increased by 35.37% in quantity and 32.35% in value

China:

  • Import volume: 4,51,363 MT
  • Import value: $1,384.89 million
  • Share: 25.33% in quantity, 18.76% in dollar terms
  • Major imports: Frozen shrimp (32% in quantity, 55.11% in dollar value), Frozen fish (36.83% in quantity, 21.56% in dollar value)

Japan:

  • Share: 6.06% in quantity, 5.42% in dollar value

Overall, the top 10 markets contributed 79.89% of the total export value in dollar terms. Despite the challenges in traditional markets, the record export volume showcases India’s robust seafood sector and its potential for future growth, driven by diversification and resilience.

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