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Seafood exports touch an-all-time-high

KOCHI: India's seafood export has touched an all-time high of 9,28,215 tonnes worth Rs 18,856 crore for 2012-13. This showed 7.68% increase in quantity and 13.6% rise in value. 

However, in dollar terms the total value at $3512 million showed only a marginal growth of 0.1 %. The poor growth in dollar terms is due to a sharp decline in the unit value of the marine products. The exports did not fetch high prices it did in the previous year,'' said Leena Nair, chairman of 
Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). 

Leena Nair said increase in export should be viewed in the light of weaker economic conditions in European Union, continuing anti-dumping duty and the possibility of countervailing duty on frozen shrimp the US, where the 
economy is yet to improve fully, moderate growth in China, technical barriers to trade by Japan and fluctuating Indian rupee. Supply condition in other countries too recovered last year. 

Frozen shrimp was the top performer accounting for over 51 % in the total seafood export value. Though its value showed almost 19% increase, frozen shrimp recorded the steepest fall in unit value realisation at 14 %. In terms of quantity, frozen fish had the largest share of 37 % 3,43,876 tonnes. 

With most economies still struggling, South East Asia continued to be the largest buyer of Indian seafood with a share of 23 % in value, followed by 
European Union at 22 % and USAat 21 %. 

MPEDA has set a target of $4.3 billion export for the current year. Though its achievement will depend on several international issues, the fall in 
rupee value and the onset of a disease in shrimp farms in Thailand, may augur well for Indian seafood export.