Indian seafood exports during April-December 2011 showed positive growth: 1,48 per cent in volume and 18.72 per cent in USD terms year-on-year. Exports to Southeast Asia, Japan and the US all improved in quantity and value.


Exports reached 621,577 tonnes worth INR 121.9 billion (USD 2.62 billion) versus 612,505 tonnes worth INR 100.18 billion (USD 2.21 billion) in the same period of the previous year, reports Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).


Frozen shrimp remained the main export item, accounting for 51,35 per cent of the total USD earnings, and rose by 17,67 per cent. The export of vannamei shrimp increased by 272 per cent in quantity, and 318 per cent in value. Vannamei shrimp has just recently been allowed farmed in Thailand. Exports of frozen shrimp to the US surged by 38,34 per cent in quantity and 41,07 per cent in USD, and to Japan by 10,15 per cent in volume and 18,00 per cent in value.


Fish, the second-most valuable export item, made up about 39,43 per cent in quantity and 19,14 per cent in value. Frozen fish exports jumped by 6,40 per cent in quantity and 15.96 per cent in value.


Frozen squid and cuttlefish exports fell in quantity but rose in value. Frozen cuttlefish dropped by 12,30 per cent in quantity and climbed by 14,97 per cent in value due to low supply in global markets.


For the first time, Southeast Asia became the largest market with a share of 25,75 per cent in value  and 39,58 per cent in quantity due to a an increase of  43,19 per cent in quantity and 95,99 per cent in value.


The European Union (EU) has slipped to the second spot with a share of 22,02 per cent, followed by the US at 19,17 per cent, Japan at 14,09 per cent and China at 7,06 per cent.

Seafood exports for 2011-12 is expected to increase by nearly 20 per cent in value compared to 2010-11 from USD 2,8 billion to USD 3.5 billion, according to MPEDA.