Black tiger shrimps for exports. (Photo: K L Constantine
Japanese restrictions put shrimp exporters under strain
Monday, August 27, 2012, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
India’s shrimp exports to Japan have been under strain since Japan detected the antioxidant ethoxyquin in Indian shrimp consignments upon arrival. Japan had already sent back more than 10 Indian shipments in recent weeks, which had forced heavy losses on exporters and shrimp farmers.
Japan may end up completely banning shrimp imports from India.
Already, there have been a lot of cancellations from Japanese buyers, which has had a deleterious effect on exporters based in Odisha and West Bengal, as around 60 per cent of the black tiger variety of shrimp produced there is sold to Japan.
India’s commerce ministry has thus called for an urgent meeting in Chennai early this week and a high level delegation may soon head to Tokyo, Business Standard reports.
This challenge has reverberated throughout the global market and brought on a drastic reduction in shrimp prices, pulling them down 25-35 per cent in a couple of weeks. Export orders from other major import destinations like the Europe and the US have also dipped.
G Mohanty, president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI), Odisha region, stated that Japan had started testing for ethoxyquin without providing any notice to exporters or India’s government.
Odisha and West Bengal’s aquaculture sectors are in crisis, he stressed, as prices have entered a downward spiral.
“There will not be any shrimp aquaculture production in the coming years,” he added.
Taj Mohamed, president of SEAI in the West Bengal region, said that already importers have been asked not to ship the cargo until the issue is sorted out, which means that many containers are now stocked in Kolkata.
As a result, the country underwent a serious setback in marine product exports during the April-June period, as the country’s products lost their appeal in major export markets like Europe and Japan.
Cumulative exports skid to 131,000 tonnes, valued at INR 27 billion (USD 489.5 million), against 165,000 tonnes worth INR 28.7 billion (USD 520.3 million) year-on-year -- a fall of 20 per cent in volume and 5 per cent in value.
Japan’s ethoxyquin testing has also harmed Vietnamese shrimp exporters ever since Japan decided to check 30 per cent -- rather than the usual 5 per cent -- of all imported Vietnamese shrimp consignments in May after finding that one contained residues of ethoxyquin.
On 31 July, Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Cao Duc Phat sent Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (MHLW) advising that Japan regulate maximum residue limits (MRLs) for ethoxyquin in shrimp similar to that for finfish because the Japanese daily dietary intake of shrimp and fish are similar.
- Tighter restrictions by Japanese authorities could harm shrimp exporters
By Natalia Real