By Joanne Friedrick, SeaFood Business contributing editor
Published on 14 February, 2013
An international superstar, shrimp has been coming to the U.S. market from around the globe for decades as the shrimp farming industry has evolved and matured.
Today, more than 35 countries export shrimp to America, although the majority of it comes from major producing countries in Asia and Latin America. From January through October 2012, Vietnam, Ecuador and India exported more than 40 million pounds of peeled frozen shrimp to the United States, while Thailand contributed about 89 million pounds and Indonesia more than 65 million pounds. Additionally, these latter two countries also exported to the United States more than 44 million pounds each of shell-on frozen shrimp in a variety of sizes.
From 2010 to 2011, Ecuador, Indonesia and India saw shrimp exports to the United States rise, with Ecuador shipping nearly 74,000 metric tons (MT) over the previous year’s 65,000 MT; Indonesia was up nearly 9,000 MT to 70,334; and India reached approximately 48,000 MT versus the previous year’s 30,000 MT.
Both Thailand and Vietnam showed reduced exports to the United States during that period as a result of weather and disease issues. With Thailand’s total dropping to about 185,000 MT from more than 201,000 MT, and Vietnam decreasing slightly to just more than 45,000 MT from 2010’s 48,000 MT.