India’s seafood exports to China are not likely to have any adverse impact due to coronavirus, the deadly virus that has mostly hit Wuhan province of the East Asian country, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said here today.
“Seafood exports to China have increased substantially in the current financial year as compared to the same period a year earlier. During April-December 2019, total seafood exports to China stood at 2,42,218 tons valued at US$ 1032 million as against 1,65,950 tons valued at US$ 589 million in the same period last year,” pointed out K S Srinivas, Chairman of the MPEDA, which functions under Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry as an autonomous nodal agency for holistic development of seafood industry.
“The increase is 46 per cent in terms of quantity and 75 per cent in terms of value,” he noted. Around 500 exporters are exporting seafood from India to China and the exporting community in general has not raised any issue about exports to that country on account of the coronavirus in that country, he said.
However few of them have expressed concern about shipping to China as the shrimp consumption might reduce. But there is a strong possibility of the Chinese consumers switching to healthier seafood options leaving behind other items such as reptiles of various kinds.
At the just-concluded India International Seafood Show (IISS) 2020 in Kochi, Srinivas had said the Coronavirus outbreak had not affected the shrimp consumption in China where Wuhan, the epicentre of the disease, is a small province.
India is the second largest aquaculture producer in the world and the largest exporter of shrimp to USA. The country also exports a significant volume of shrimp to Europe and other markets in South East Asia.