INDIA - India is expecting a 10-20 per cent drop in its farmed shrimp production this year.
The decrease in shrimp production is also likely to pull down the total marine products export from the country.
At a record 3.53 lakh tonnes, farmed vannamei shrimps accounted for 67 per cent of India's seafood export of Rs 33,441 crore in 2014-15, reports TheEconomicTimes.
The drop in production has been attributed to a spread of non-viral disease due to inadequate rainfall.
"The prevalence of microsporidian EHP in the shrimp farms has resulted in stunted growth in the vannamei shrimps. The survival rate among shrimps is also low. We expect 10-20 per cent fall in production," said S Muthukaruppan, president of the Society of Aquaculture Professionals in Chennai.
The disease has been found in the farms of Andhra Pradesh, which produces nearly 70 per cent of vannamei shrimps for export. Earlier during the year, there were stray occurrences of white spot disease in the farms as well.
High cost of the feed coupled with the spread of disease has forced farmers to go slow on stocking. The cost of production is around Rs 270 a kg, which is higher than the prices for 40 to 50 count shrimps.
"In the last few months, the prices they were getting were low compared to the last year. Of late, the prices have started moving up. But it is doubtful whether there will be enough quantity to cash in on it," said L Satyanarain, president, All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association.
The prices of shrimps of 30 count ranged between Rs 320 and Rs 330 a kg till last month compared with Rs 500 earlier.
"Insufficient rains could have affected flushing in the farms," said Muthukaruppan adding that the disease can be managed with proper water management.
High stocking by the US also hit the global shrimp market.
"The US is holding a lot of inventory bought at high prices. Hence, they were not buying much. Europe is also not active in purchases. Both the raw material and export prices have come down," said V Padmanabham, president, Seafood Exporters Association of India. He expects 20-30 per cent decrease in value of the seafood exports.
India is helped by the fact that Thailand, Vietnam and China - the major producers of farmed shrimp - are yet to come out of the grip of diseases. Consequently , there is still a demand for Indian shrimp. Indonesia is the only country , according to industry sources, which was unaffected by the shrimp diseases.
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TheFishSite News Desk
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