Courtesy: Economic Times issue dt June17, 2016
Small-sized shrimps are finding big global takers that may lead to better production of aquaculture shrimps this year
Higher global prices for smaller-sized shrimps may lead to better production of aquaculture shrimps, which are the mainstay . 33,000-crore Indian seafood of the ` exports, this year.
Farmed shrimps now account for around 70% of marine products export from the country. Last fiscal, the export remained subdued with a plunge in shrimp prices and a decline in production due to rains and diseases.
Though the stocking was slightly delayed by prolonged hot weather, harvest has started in farms, mostly in Andhra and Tamil Nadu. Unlike last year, prices for smaller size shrimps have gone up pro mpting farmers to harvest early.
“The harvest has been good so far.Instead of waiting for 140 or 150 days, they can harvest in 90 days, which helps in better survival rate as mortality rate could be higher if the shrimp grows bigger,'' said S Muthukaruppan, past president of Society of Aquaculture Professionals in Chennai.
Prices for smaller sizes of 60, 70 and 80 counts per kg have increased by 30% to 40% from last year hovering in the range of `. 260 to 310 per kg. In the last three years, the larger sizes (of 30 to 50 counts) used to fetch higher prices.
“Both demand and prices are stable. With the trawling ban in Kerala, the catch of squid and cuttlefish could come down. But it could go up after July,'' said Anwar Hashim, managing director of Abad Fisheries. Though data on seafood export for 2015-16 is yet to be released the first six months saw a 20% drop from a year ago. Globefish under FAO that provides information on world fish trade says that despite lower output, India was the lead supply source exporting 3,83,000 tonnes of shrimp in 2015. Lower shrimp prices helped producing countries increase exports beyond traditional markets, especially to Vietnam, China and other markets in Asia.
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