KOCHI : Spurred by a soaring demand for frozen shrimp and frozen squid in international markets, the domestic marine products industry exported 2,51,735 tonnes of seafood, valued at Rs.9,066.06 crore ($1.42 billion), in April-June 2017 compared to 2,01,223 tonnes and $1.17 billion, respectively, a year earlier.
The US and South-East Asia retained their positions as major importers, followed by the European Union and Japan, while demand from China saw a healthy surge during the period.
Frozen shrimp continued to be the top export item in the marine products basket, accounting for a share of 50.66 per cent in quantity and 74.90 per cent of the total earnings in dollar terms. Shrimp exports increased by 20.87 per cent in terms of quantity and 21.64 per cent in dollar terms.
Frozen squid was the second-largest export item, accounting for 7.82 per cent in quantity and 5.81 per cent in dollar earnings, registering a growth of 40.25 per cent in terms of dollar value.
Healthy harvests of shrimp, drastic reduction in the rejection rate by the EU countries, sustained measures to ensure quality and improved infrastructure facilities for production of value-added products were chiefly responsible for the surge in seafood exports, said A Jayathilak, Chairman, The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (Mpeda).
The US imported 54,344 tonnes worth $499.28 million (35.05 per cent share), while South-East Asia continued to be the second largest destination with a share of 31.26 per cent, followed by the EU (14.70 per cent), Japan (6.68 per cent), West Asia (3.47 per cent), China (3.06 per cent) and other countries (5.79 per cent).
The overall export of shrimp during the first quarter of the current fiscal year was pegged at 1,27,521 tonnes worth $1,066.97 million. The export of Vannamei shrimp improved from 82,193 tonnes to 92,341 tonnes.
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