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Seafood exports see a significant decline

Date: 29-02-2020
Subject: Seafood exports see a significant decline
The spread of coronavirus to Italy could further dent India’s seafood exports which have dropped due to a significant fall in shipments to China, the epicentre of the outbreak. Italy is a top importer of cephalopods including squids, cuttlefish and octopus.

Europe, China and the Southeast Asian countries are the main buyers of Indian cephalopods, which account for 12 per cent of India’s seafoods export basket, after shrimp. In 2018-19, India had exported $6.7 billion worth of seafood, of which squids and cuttlefish together accounted for about 10 per cent.

“After Spain, Italy has the largest market for squids and cuttlefish from India,” said Kenny Thomas, MD of Gujaratbased Jinny Marine Traders.

He said there could be a slump in consumption of seafood as people are being quarantined to prevent the spread of virus. “They may stop going to crowded places and restaurants and may survive with little supplies at home,” Thomas said. Price of cephalopods had dropped on weak demand from Europe even before the virus spread. “Squid prices fell from $5 to $3.50 per kg, a rate not economical to us,” said KE Sulaiman, managing director of AS Marine Industries, adding that a general decline in catches had raised raw material prices for exporters.

“Instead of 120 containers during the year, I could ship only 45 so far,” he said. Besides the tighter monitoring of Indian consignments also discouraged the exporters. China, the other big market for cephalopods, was buying from India till the coronavirus outbreak.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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