The retail business raises shrimp prices in the domestic market

The increase in shrimp prices in the domestic market has boosted aquaculture, especially when the sector’s export demand is modest. In New Delhi, prices touched new highs with bulk (Jumbo B) at ₹ 484/kg, up 38 percent from a year ago. An upward trend in prices has been visible since April, which is said to be due to expectations of production cuts. World market prices will remain low from the second half of 2022 due to increased production. Market sources said shrimp prices had fallen to ₹ 312 per kg in mid-May and prices had started rising on expectations of production cuts. “If domestic shrimp prices are rising, it is good news given the current global scenario where prices are on a downward trend in the US, Europe, and China,” said Jagdish Fofandi,  president of the Seafood  Association of India. “I think the increase in prices in the domestic market will allow shrimp farmers to increase their harvest because of lower prices in foreign markets”, he said. 

 An increase in disposable income 

 D. Ramaraj, former president of the All India Prawn Hatchery Association, attributed the increase in disposable income and the abundance of international markets to attract retail consumers to prawns, which are considered healthy and nutritious food. It is the only meat sold domestically according to international standards. Most of the meat consumed in India is chicken and the availability of shrimp allows consumers to choose quality meat. 

 Joseph Xavier Kalapurackal, general secretary of the Kerala Fishing Boat Operators Association, said the decline in foreign orders has forced seafood traders to focus on the domestic market, boosting demand. However, the price increase will not benefit the local fishermen, although the wild catch is the most sought-after variety in the domestic market.  

 The future of shrimp farming in India is definitely in domestic consumption, says Lakkaraju Satyanarai of the All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association. After Ecuador took the lead in shrimp exports and overtook India, it is time for the country to look at alternative markets. Entrepreneurs need to take the lead and start taking advantage of the market. Cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad have huge potential. A good logistic approach would solve the current problems of farmers. Farmers can even think about starting small clubs and selling in cities.

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