Indonesia, India suffer major drops in US shrimp exports in May 2023

baskets of shrimp.

India, Ecuador, and Indonesia held on to their status as the top three shrimp exporters to the U.S. in NOAA's most recent reporting, covering May 2023.

India sent 47 million pounds, or 21,767 metric tons (MT), of shrimp to the U.S. in May 2023, down from May 2022, when it exported 54 million pounds (24,787 MT). Its year-to-date total is down nearly 15,000 MT from 2022.

Ecuador exported 36 million pounds (16,590 MT) of shrimp to the U.S. in May 2023. Its monthly total is down from the 40 million pounds (18,070 MT) it sent in May 2022. Ecuador's U.S. exports year-to-date are less than 1,000 MT off the country's 2022 totals.

Indonesia exported 30 million pounds (13,793 MT) of shrimp to the U.S. in May 2023, a decline from May 2022, when it exported 36 million pounds (16,644 MT). Its U.S. exports have dropped more than 20,000 MT year-to-date, and with the United States representing 68 percent of its total shrimp export. The decline should have been painful for Indonesia's exporters, but they've found ways to adapt, according to Shrimp Insights Founder Willem van der Pijl.

"With Indonesia’s overall exports down less than exports to the U.S., it seems that Indonesian exporters have products in store and are also finding some other markets for their products," van der Pijl  wrote in a recent blog post.

The drop was the biggest for Indonesia's exports of shell-on products (51 percent), but "shocking across the board," according to van der Pijl. Peeled shrimp exports were the least-affected, with a decline of 24 percent, he noted.

Out of the top 10 shrimp exporters to the U.S. in May 2023, Vietnam held fourth place with 10 million pounds (4,645 MT); Thailand was in fifth place, sending 3 million pounds (1,697 MT); Argentina was in sixth, exporting 2.9 million pounds (1,321 MT); Mexico in seventh, sending 2 million pounds (973 MT); China in eighth, shipping 747,000 pounds (227 MT); Canada in ninth with 462,000 pounds (210 MT); and Saudi Arabia rounded out the top 10, sending 405,000 pounds (184 MT).

The United States imported a total of 137 million pounds (62,263 MT) of shrimp this past May 2023, down from 165 million pounds (74,915) MT in May 2022. Thus far in in 2023, total U.S. shrimp imports are down nearly 64,000 MT, or 20 percent - from the 362,382 MT sent in January-May 2022, to 298,610 MT over the same time period in 2023.

Photo courtesy of Archer Dec24/Shutterstock


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