Business

Fish exports on track to achieve 2021 target

 

  • Trade surplus for first seven months $ 100 m
  • Ministry aims to achieve $ 1 b in 4 years

 

State Minister of Ornamental Fish, Inland Fish, and Prawn Farming, Fishery Harbour Development, Multi Day Fishing Activities, and Fish Exports Kanchana Wijesekara has set a fresh target of $ 300 million for the country’s fish exports, despite Sri Lanka never having achieved a $ 300 million earning in fish exports before.

This is the first time Sri Lanka is set to achieve such a new target, and things are on track to achieve the said target this year, Wijesekara noted.

State Minister Wijesekara mentioned on his Twitter account that Sri Lanka has so far maintained a trade balance of $ 100 million for the first seven months of this year, but elaborated that the trade balance was, however, less than $ 23 million in 2020. 

The State Minister further said that he discussed a possible strategy with the Ministry of Finance as well as with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) officers, to increase fishery exports to $ 1 billion within a span of four years. 

The export income from fishery products considerably increased during the first half of this year. According to the State Minister, an increase of such a nature took place because of government policies which led to the encouragement of domestic fish production alongside a hike on import duties on fishery products such as dried fish, mackerel, and canned fish.  

By the first half of this year, the value of prawn exports for 2021 has exceeded its 2019 value.

As per statistics from the Ministry of Fisheries, the value of prawn exports in the same period this year is Rs. 2,299.2 million, and 1,403.7 MT were exported within that period. Exports for the same period in 2019 were recorded at Rs. 1,915.1 million, with 1,170.6 MT exported. In comparison to 2020, prawn exports have increased by 117.8% in terms of quantity.