Indian exporters are facing yet another turbulence as around 1000-1200 containers of shrimps are stuck at different Chinese ports.
The containers of at least 50 Indians exporters, each carrying around 16 metric tons (MT) of frozen shrimp, collectively worth INR 12 billion (USD 160.6 million, EUR 136.3 million), are stranded at various Chinese ports, according to several media reports.
As per the reports, out of the 50 exporters whose containers are stuck, half of them are from Andhra Pradesh, which is the largest shrimp-producing state in India. After strands of COVID were detected on the packaging containing the shrimps, the Chinese government suspended their permissions to export to China.
It has been nearly two months since our exports have been blocked. They are neither clearing the containers from the ports nor clarifying if we can bring them back. The owners of the containers will suffer heavy losses if the delay in clearance continues.”~ Aluri Indra Kumar, President, India Seafood Exporters Association
Kumar said his association has reported the issue to India’s Ministry of Commerce, and that Indian and Chinese officials are in discussions through diplomatic channels to address it.
China is the largest buyer of small-sized shrimp – sized between 60 and 150-count per kilogram – produced in Andhra Pradesh. Kumar said that many of the companies specializing in that size of shrimp are dependent on Chinese market for survival. He added that at least 25 of Andra Pradesh’s 80 seafood exporters are threatened by the detentions.
Taking extra precautionary measures, China has cracked down on seafood imports fearing newer transmission of COVID-19. The country has issued temporary bans on dozens of companies that had been flagged for shipping seafood with packaging contaminated by coronavirus.
As per reports, China’s General Administration of Customs last month, suspended imports of frozen seafood from six Indian exporters for a week due to alleged detection of the coronavirus on their packaging.
Between 20 June and 15 July, frozen seafood exporters from India and 10 other Asian countries were also suspended from shipping their containers to Zhanjiang, a port in China’s Guangdong Province, due to loading capacity.