India exported 12,89,651 tonnes of seafood worth ₹46,662.85 crore ($6.68 billion) during 2019-20, largely cushioning the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frozen shrimp remained the major export item in terms of quantity and value followed by frozen fish. The U.S. and China were the major importers of Indian seafood.

During FY20, exports improved in rupee terms by 0.16%. But, the quantity declined by 7.39%. The exports also reduced by 0.74% in terms of U.S. Dollar during the period, said a communication here.

In FY19, India had exported 13,92,559 tonnes of seafood worth ₹46,589.37 crore ($6,728.50 million), the communication said.

K S Srinivas, Chairman, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), said India managed to export 12,89,651 tonnesof seafood , despite the sluggish demand in its major export markets caused by the pandemic, which led to cancellation of several orders, reduced and delayed payments, slowdown of cargo movements and difficulty in getting new orders. The decline in sea catch along the west coast due to reduced fishing days has also been a reason for the shortfall in quantity, he added.

“We missed the $7-billion-dollar target, though not by a fair distance. However, exports are now likely to witness an uptick as lockdowns have been eased globally and there is an increased sale of value added products in retail chains. MPEDA’s vision is to take Indian seafood exports to ₹one lakh crore by 2030,” he said.

Frozen shrimp, which earned ₹34,152.03 crore (USD 4,889.12 million), retained its position as the most significant item in the basket of seafood exports, accounting for a share of 50.58% in quantity and 73.21% of the total dollar earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased by 6.04%in dollar value and 6.20% in quantity.

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