The country’s seafood export hit a historic mark of $315.525 million in the fiscal year 2011-12, up by 6.53 percent or $19.343 million, as China’s import from Pakistan witnessed a healthy growth. “China’s import of cuttlefish and squid from Pakistan has swelled around 90 percent within a shot period,” Chairman Pak Fisheries Exporters Association (PakFEA) Faisal Iftikhar told Business Recorder on Tuesday.
He said China had also grown a greater appeal for a variety of Pakistani shrimps which helped the country reach the record high export mark. The growing demand from China, he added had quelled the local exporters’ preference to export seafood to the recession-hit EU. Pakistan’s seafood export during the fiscal year 2010-11 was $296.182 million, which had mounted to $315.525 million in fiscal year 2011-2012, said fisheries officials.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, in terms of quantity, the country’s seafood export fell by 7 percent or 9,437 tons to 124,489 tons during FY12 as compared to export of 133,926 tons in FY11. On the decline in seafood export volume, Faisal Iftikhar said that global price of fisheries products increased between 20 and 50 percent in FY12 and the average unit price of seafood on the global market also surged during the last 12 months.
He said the volume of seafood export had however remained lower than the last year’s fisheries export. In June 2012, the country’s seafood export fell by 50 percent or 18.71 million as compared to export of 37.453 million in May 2012. Similarly, on yearly basis, the country’s seafood export slumped by 34 percent or $10.012 million in June 2012 if compared with the commodity’s export of $28.755 million in June 2011, the statistics said.
The Chairman PakFEA further said that the country’s long-standing demand for reopening of EU markets for its exporters had decreased with the increasing export to China on higher rates. “EU cannot offer the price China pays to Pakistani exporters for cuttlefish, squid and a variety of shrimp products,” he said, adding that local exporters had also stopped making efforts towards resumption of seafood export to the EU. He said the Middle East, Far East and Egypt were the greater markets for Pakistani seafood exports, suggesting that focus on building and retaining these markets would benefit the country.