The $ Billion Andhra Shrimp exports
Visakhapatnam: The Indian sea food industry is well on its way to close in on the $4.5 billion mark in exports for the financial year 2013-14.
The industry has already reached $4 billion (See graph below) as of January end and as per sources is expected to close this financial year with an additional three to five hundred million US dollars. This if realised would be an increase of a $1 billion when compared to the last financial year.
In terms of quantity 7.67 lakh metric tonnes of sea food was exported till this year Jan end wherein frozen shrimp alone accounted for 2.47 lakh Metric tonnes.
The state of Andhra Pradesh which has been at the Numero Uno position (see ViS issue October 16-31, 2013) in the frozen shrimp category specifically the ‘Vannamei’ specie is all set to cross the $1 billion mark by this fiscal end itself (See bar graph). The AP Marine Exports primarily comprise of shrimp i.e. Vannamei.
Simultaneously the Indian shrimp industry got a shot in the arm with the notification from the Japanese authorities on the maximum residue limit (MRL) level for Ethoxyquin in shrimps exported to Japan.
This is being seen as a significant victory for the Indian sea food exporters as they had taken a hit due to the restrictions put in place by the Japanese authorities on the level of Ethoxyquin in shrimps.
It was back in 2012 August that the import inspection authorities in Japan had enforced the default level of 0.01ppm for Ethoxyquin in shrimps exported from India.
This prescribed level of MRL had dented shrimp exports to Japan and hence was staunchly taken up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, MPEDA with Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, METI and Ministry of Foreign affairs, Japan.
The maximum residue limit has now been fixed at 0.2 ppm and is expected to help Indian shrimp exporters significantly enhance shrimp exports to Japan.
‘Japan is a crucial market for us and it will definitely see a marked improvement in our exports’ says Mr V Padmanabham, National Vice President of the Sea food exporters Association of India and MD SSF Limited. He however says that the surge in exports to Japan will be seen in the next financial year.
Talking on the recent visit of Dr Margaret Hamburg, Chief of USFDA to India, Mr Padmanabhan states that during their association meetings it was informed that Dr Margret was generally happy with the quality of sea food shipped to the US (America is India’s biggest market for Marine products) and that the US officials were appreciative of the fact that Indian sea food exporters were making every effort to comply with their import norms.
He further adds that in order to make sure that the Indian shrimp industry is safe both the government and the association have been taking every step in adhering to the prescribed norms so that Indian aquaculture farms are not affected by diseases such as the EMS (early mortality syndrome).
Mr Padmanabhan highlights the traceability system which he says effectively tracks down the farm from where the shrimp was sourced.
VCTPL : The burgeoning marine exports from this region has in effect seen container traffic surge at the container terminal in Vizag, VCTPL (Visakha Container terminal P Ltd).
Identifying sea food exports as a crucial sector, VCTPL has put in place the necessary infrastructure required to handle reefer containers. An estimated 192 plug points are said to be installed for reefer volumes. It also claims to have a 24X7 temperature monitoring facility for these reefer containers. An overwhelming majority of reefer containers i.e. about 96% is used for sea food exports from the Vizag region. ‘There has been a 25% increase in terms of reefer containers’ says Mr Aashish Pakalapati, GM, Merilyn Shipping & Transports one of the leading CHA’s in the city. He further adds that an average 550 to 600 reefer FEUs per month are handled at VCTPL.