Seafood exports till February-end better than expected

May 30th, 2009 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, May 30 (IANS) Seafood exports in 2008-09 till February-end have grown close to 8 percent in volume and about 10 percent in rupee terms as compared to the corresponding period the previous fiscal.
It was earlier feared that exports would fall by as much as 20 percent.

According to Seafood Exporters Association president Anwar Hashim, exports grew to 530,000 tonnes in the period under review from a little over 491,000 tonnes in the corresponding 11 months the previous fiscal.

In rupee terms, export revenue grew from Rs.6,945 crore to over Rs.7,600 crore, though in dollar terms, it fell to $1,705 million from about $1,729 million.

“The unit value of one kilogram of seafood fell from $3.52 to $3.22. This was due to the global slowdown and lobster prices falling from $23 per kilogram to $12,” Hashim said.

“However, it is now clear that the final figure for March would also show a marginal growth in both quantity and value terms.”

This was a creditable performance, he said, as export revenues had fallen from Rs.8,364 crore in 2006-07 to Rs.7,621 crore last fiscal, while the quantity came down to about 542,000 tonnes from about 613,000 tonnes.

Hashim called for a “better” fisheries management policy to push up total production from the five million tonnes currently, and said Kerala-based exporters were “excited” as fisheries comes under the portfolio allocated to their MP from Ernakulam, K.V. Thomas.

“Today export of seafood is just 10 percent of the total production. This has to go up and we are excited because we have our own minister looking after agriculture. We feel he will initiate polices to rejuvenate fish production in the country.”

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