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Seafood imports to the U.S. spiked 32 percent over the past year, according to new data from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The value of U.S. imports rose 32 percent to USD 1.76 billion (EUR 1.28 million), and volume climbed 9 percent to 213.4 million kilograms (kg). in October, 2013, compared to October, 2012. The import increases were led by shrimp imports, which spiked 70 percent from USD 396 million (EUR 287.7 million) in October, 2012, to USD 673.5 million (EUR 489.3 million) in October, 2013. Shrimp import volume rose 11 percent to 54.5 million kg in October, 2013, according to NMFS.

“Shrimp imports made up 38 percent of the overall value of imports in October 2013. This increase in the price of shrimp appears to be driving most of the increase in overall value,” Michael Liddel, survey statistician with NOAA Fisheries, told SeafoodSource.

U.S. shrimp exports dropped from 1.387 million kg in 2012 to 1.246 million kg in 2013. The value of U.S. shrimp exports reached USD 11.13 million (EUR 8.09 million) in October 2013, NMFS did not provide the value of shrimp exports for October 2012.

Meanwhile, total seafood exports climbed 10 percent to USD 616 million (EUR 447.5 million) in October, 2013, and volume rose 8 percent to 168.6 million kg.

The other species realizing significantly increased exports in October included tilapia and salmon. “The value of salmon imports is up 48 percent [to USD 79.5 million (EUR 57.8 million)] from October last year with an increase in volume of only 10 percent,” Liddel said.

Likewise, the value of tilapia imports rose 34 percent to USD 102 million (EUR 74.1 million) in October 2013 and volume rose 20 percent to 22.3 million kg.

The U.S. exported 27.9 million kg of salmon in October 2013 with a value of USD 133.3 million (EUR 96.8 million).

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