U.S. Shrimp Imports Drop in 2007

For the first time in more than a decade, U.S. shrimp imports dropped from the previous year, down 5.7 percent to 1.23 billion pounds in 2007.

Shrimp imports from China fell 29 percent to 106.7 million pounds in 2007, more than any other country among the top 15 suppliers to the United States. Last June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put shrimp and four other farmed-seafood species from China on automatic detention due to the increased presence of banned antibiotics and fungicides, slowing imports considerably. Through the first half of 2007, shrimp imports from China were up 7.9 percent to 61.2 million pounds.

Due to the drop, China slipped from the No. 2 supplier to the United States in 2006 to the No. 4 supplier last year, trailing Thailand, Ecuador and Indonesia.

Shrimp imports from India, the No. 7 supplier in 2006, also tumbled significantly, down 23.8 percent to 45.8 million pounds in 2007. India is one of six Asian and Latin American countries the U.S. Department of Commerce hit with shrimp tariffs in 2005.

Shrimp imports from Thailand, by far the No. 1 supplier, fell only marginally, down 2.8 percent to 415.2 million pounds last year.

Year-to-year U.S. shrimp imports haven't dropped since 1996. Even in 2005, when the DOC enacted shrimp tariffs, shrimp imports increased 2.2 percent to 1.17 billion pounds. Last year, shrimp imports jumped a whopping 11.6 percent to 1.3 billion pounds.

Imports represent about 90 percent of the U.S. shrimp supply. Shrimp has been Americaâ??s favorite seafood since 2001. U.S. per capita shrimp consumption reached a record 4.4 pounds in 2006.


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