Crab industry Opportunities abound for private investment in Bangladesh

The crab industry in Bangladesh provides livelihood support to many families residing in the southern belt of Bangladesh. In FY 2017-18, Bangladesh produced 11,787 MT of Crabs of which 97% were exported across the globe for an estimated export value of $42.9 Million. China is the major export destination for crabs with an estimated 85% of total export volume being shipped to the Chinese market annually.

On an intra-level, the sector competes between the option of live crabs and soft-shell crabs. While the former is restricted to just being exported in the Asian belt because of logistical limitations of exporting live products, the latter e.g., soft shell crabs are exported to not only Asia but also Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

However, soft shell farming requires the collection of young crabs from the wild before they have reproduced. This is resulting in severe population depletion and if major interventions are not taken, the industry will supposedly crumble in the future years. In the international crab industry, Bangladeshi produce is competing with major neighboring export players like Vietnam, India, and the Philippines.

Vietnam represents 0.4% of the $ 3.52 billion global export market share and has 250 crablet based hatchery across the country to facilitate the export. India exported $17.1 million worth of crab in 2017 with the United States being the major export destination. The Philippines exported $60 million worth of crab in 2017 with South Korea being its major export destination. None of the major neighboring export players shipped their products to China in significant proportion.

Crab industry Value Chain in Bangladesh

Tapping on the right opportunities can make crabs the next big export commodity for Bangladesh.

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