Bangkok: In another setback for Indian seafood exporters, Thailand, an emerging market for Indian shrimp products, has gone for a temporary suspension of import of shrimps from India.
Thailand accounts for about 13 per cent of 1.70 billion dollar exports made to South East Asia. South East Asia has share of about 30 per cent of the 5.7 billion dollar India seafood exports market.
Export of shrimps to Thailand is not taking place for last three months, said the sources. It has also suspended import of shrimps from Malaysia.
The Commercial Section of Royal Thai Consulate – General has confirmed the suspension of issue of import license for five categories of shrimps (Penaeus Esculentus, Fenneropenaeus, Penoeus Vannamai, Pernaeus Monodon, Penaeus Stylirostris).
The action of suspension by the Department of Fishery, Thailand is to prevent the Infectious Myonecrosis (IMNV) spreading as per the guidelines of World Organization for Animal Health.
“Thailand has been a vibrant market with high potential for mutual collaborations in the food processing sector. It is a setback for the seafood industry. It is surprising that the government here is not aware of it”, said Rajen Padhi, director general of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a seafood consultant.
This shock has come at a time when the European Union (EU), the third largest market of Indian exporters, has flagged off quality issues with India prompting the former to send an audit team to inspect the facilities here.
There was a growing concern that the EU is seriously worried over the use of antibiotics in Indian shrimps- a fact that has surfaced continuously in its findings. It is also dissatisfied with the response it got from the Indian authorities and is, thus, considering a ban.
Last year, the EU had strengthened its inspection norms for aquaculture products sent from India. Earlier, the norm was testing samples from at least 10 per cent of the consignments, which was enhanced to 50 per cent in 2016.