Gulf of Mexico shrimp landings low, prices up

Published on
October 21, 2016

Shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico are running lower than usual, but prices are up, according to the latest data issued by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

U.S. shrimpers caught 11.2 million lbs. of shrimp in September 2016, the lowest September total since 2008 and 3.5 million fewer lbs. than was caught last September. The total is nearly 18 percent off the 14-year historical catch average of 13.6 million lbs.

Landings in the U.S. states of Texas and Alabama both fell markedly, while Louisiana’s catch was around its historical average for September. Texan shrimpers caught 4.3 million lbs. of shrimp in September, versus 6.1 million lbs. in September 2015, and shrimpers in Alabama caught 1.2 million lbs. last month versus 2.8 million lbs. in September 2015.

For the year, 67.3 million lbs. of shrimp have been landed in the Gulf of Mexico, the lowest total at this point in time since 2010. Gulf shrimp landings this year remain about 24 percent below the historical average of 88.4 million lbs., with a drop-off of 7.5 million lbs. compared to the first nine months of last year, when 74.8 million lbs. was caught.

With total catch down, shrimp prices have been moving higher. Western and Northern Gulf ex-vessel prices for U15 count shrimp increased significantly, and 26-30 count shrimp have hit USD 4.19 (EUR 3.85) per lb., more than double those reported in September of last year. Western Gulf ex-vessel prices for 41-50 count shrimp recently stood at USD 2.67 (EUR 2.45) per lb., considerably higher than those reported last September, according to the Southern Shrimp Alliance.

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