Mumbai, Oct 30 (UNI) The country's Rs 8,000 crore export-oriented seafood industry has borne the brunt of the economic meltdown and declining demand in the lucrative US and EU markets, with demand slumping by nearly 25-30 per cent.
According to industry pundits, the demand for seafood had declined by 25-30 per cent and it is likely to fall further in the coming months. This will translate into huge financial and job losses.
Europe, the biggest market with a share of 35 per cent, and the US at around 15 per cent are demanding reduction in prices for shipped products due to credit squeeze of upto 50 per cent faced by agents there, sources said.
The demand could not come at a worse time, when demands from the European and US markets peak in anticipation of Christmas season.
Exporters are bracing themselves for choppy times as the next peak season is only at July-August next year.
''This is the first experience in my 35 years of business life,'' said Alphonse Joseph, who works for Capithans, a leading seafood exporter.
Mr Joseph said ''the exporters are reluctant to procure and store the products as they are afraid of suffering losses.'' The government needs to take urgent measures to save the industry before cascading it to related industries, he added.
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