KOCHI: The preliminary report on the hike in the anti-dumping duty on shrimps from India to the US has triggered a scare among the seafood export community in the Country as they await record harvest shrimp harvest of 6 lakh tonnes in the farms this year.
But it is pointed out that there is no need for alarm right now as the final verdict will come later. "The fear that the anti-dumping duty on shrimps exported to the US has been raised is unfounded. What has come now is a preliminary report. The final one will come out after July only,’’ said
M Nagesh, Finance Director of Nekkanti Seafoods Ltd., a major exporter. The US is the largest buyer of Indian shrimps accounting for 30% of the total seafood exports from the Country slated to touch $6 billion in the current fiscal.
The preliminary observation by The Department of Commerce of the US based on the mandatory respondents during the period of review from February 1, 2016 to January 31,2017 is that frozen shrimps from India are sold at less than the normal value. While one company among the respondents has zero percent duty the other has 2.34 %. The current level of anti-dumping duty is 0.84% for all Indian seafood exporters. As per the preliminary finding, the highest duty of 2.34% should be adopted. But the individual exporters who are respondents to the review are expected to argue against the finding. Till the final verdict is announced, the exporters will pay the present duty of 0.84%.
The purchases by the US has been slack in the last few weeks as the extremely harsh winter resulted in a downturn in demand. “People were not going out to buy shrimps because of cold conditions. Consequently there is excess stock in super markets,’’ said L Satyanarain, President of All India Shrimp Hatcheries Association. Weak demand has pushed down the prices.
India is currently the second largest global exporter of shrimps after China and the shrimp production has been rising steadily in the last few years reaching 5.5 lakh tonnes in 2016-17. Out of the Rs 38,000 crore seafood exports, nearly 70% is frozen shrimps.