A Case Study of Shrimp Exports in India

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  • Topic: Aquaculture, Shrimp farm, Shrimp
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A CASE STUDY OF SHRIMP EXPORTS FROM INDIA

ABSTRACT
This case traces the growth and stagnation of the Indian shrimp exports. This case also talks about the various internal and external problems faced by the Indian shrimp industry in the last five years. The case throws light on the competitive scenario of the Asian shrimp exporting countries. The key focus of the case is on International Trade Environment and how a country can face a competition as well as other hurdles on other fronts.

Keywords: Shrimp, Exports, India, International Trade, Competition.

A CASE STUDY OF SHRIMP EXPORTS FROM INDIA

“On the heels of December 2004 tsunami, according to the most recently compiled statistics, U.S. shrimps imports from India dropped 57% in January and February compared to 2004.[1]” - Report in the U.S. based Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) Shrimp Task Force.

“There has been a 30 per cent fall in shrimp catch from sea and almost 60 per cent fall in the second aquaculture crop.[2]”
- Mr. Abraham Tharakan
President, Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI)

“India should also look at moving away from export of raw material, black frozen shrimp and look at value added products.[3]”
- Mr. S. Santhanakrishnan
President, Society of Aquaculture Professionals, India

It is August 2006 and the Indian shrimp exporters are still waiting for a favourable verdict regarding the anti dumping duty imposed by U.S. which is around 10 %. The U.S. market used to account for 65 % of the total shrimp exports of India. The anti dumping duties have not only led to decrease of exports volume but a fall in the number of major exporters as well. In the last two years the number of major shrimp exporters to U.S. has fallen from over 30 to less than 15. Japan, which used to be the other hotspot for the Indian shrimp exporters, is experiencing a shift of preference of the type of shrimp consumed. India used to be the largest exporter of shrimps to Japan (in terms of quantity) in the period around 1999-2000, but has slipped to the third or fourth position in recent years. Other Asian countries such as Viet Nam, Indonesia, Thailand and China are giving a tough time to India in the global export markets. The December 2004 tsunami has had a devastating effect on parts of the east coast of India and aquaculture as a whole. Added to all these, the problems for the Indian shrimp industry have been further aggravated by numerous internal issues such as inappropriate cultivation methods, insufficiency of funds, improper disease management, etc. The Indian shrimp industry, which is one of the oldest in the country and which used to be one of the largest in the world, is trying to find out answers and solutions.

HISTORY OF AQUACULTURE IN INDIA

Aquaculture is defined by FAO as,
“the farming of aquatic organisms, fish, molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic plants, crocodiles, alligators, turtle and amphibians[4]” Here the word farming implies any specific form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protecting from predators, etc. Farming also means that the cultivated stock has individual or corporate ownerships. The difference between capture and aquaculture lies in the ownership. In case of aquaculture the aquatic organisms are harvested and reared by an identifiable owner throughout the rearing period, whereas in case of capture fisheries, the aquatic organisms are exploited by the public as a common property resource. Shrimp production in India dates back to 500 B.C. The first written evidence of aquaculture in India can be found in Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’. When the inhabitants started to use the paddy fields and low lying areas for cultivation, the trapped water of tidal waves or monsoon brought in natural seeds of fin...
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