Wednesday, June 26

Indian seafood exporters emerging as vital supppliers to Asean markets

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NEW DELHI: India, the world’s top ten marine products producer, is gradually emerging as a vital supplier of fresh seafood for the booming reprocessing industries in Asean markets.

Indian seafood exporters are slowly veering towards countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, to feed soaring demand from domestic industries.

“Nearly 85 per cent of India’s seafood exports go to Europe, the United States, Japan and China.

“But in recent years, there has been a marked change towards Southeast Asia.

“Exports to these markets have increased by 20-25 per cent,” Anwar Hashim, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India told Bernama.

India produces about nine million tonnes of seafood annually but only between nine-10 per cent or about 880,000 tonnes, is exported to overseas markets, with the balance consumed domestically.

According to the Kerala-based association, India is expected to ship marine products worth nearly US$3.3 billion (RM9.9 billion) this year.

Its marine export’s list mainly includes black water tiger shrimp, ribbon fish, vannamei (white shrimps) and crabs, largely arriving from the coast of Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

“We export a lot of fish to Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia as well as sardines, mackerel and shrimps, mostly for reprocessing.

“The close proximity of these countries which are becoming increasingly affluent, and the drop in duties after the signing of the Asean-India Free Trade Agreement in 2009, has helped our exports,” said Anwar.

In Southeast Asia, the world’s dominant seafood exporter, Vietnam is projected to export US$6 billion (RM18 billion) worth of marine products this year and Thailand close to US$4 billion (RM12 billion). – Bernama