Coronavirus won’t hit seafood exports to China, says MPEDA

India is the second-largest aquaculture producer in the world and the largest exporter of shrimp

Around 500 traders export seafood from India to China and the exporting community in general has not raised any issue. Photo: iStock

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) on Thursday (February 13) said India’s seafood exports to China are not likely to have any adverse impact of coronavirus, the deadly virus, that has mostly hit Wuhan province of the East Asian country.

“Seafood exports to China have increased substantially in the current financial year as compared to the same period last year. In April-December 2019, the total exports stood at
2,42,218 tonnes valued at $1,032 million as against 1,65,950 tonnes valued at $589 million in the same period last year, said MPEDA chairman K.S. Srinivas.

MPEDA functions under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry as an autonomous nodal agency for holistic development of the seafood industry. The increase is 46% in terms of quantity and 75% in terms of value,” he said.

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Around 500 traders export seafood from India to China and the exporting community in general has not raised any issue on exports to that country on account of the coronavirus there, he said.

However, a few of them have expressed concern over shipping to China as the shrimp consumption might reduce, an MPEDA release said. 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, it said.

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 the USA. The country also exports a significant volume of shrimp to Europe and other markets in South-East Asia.

(With inputs from agencies)

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