U.S. shrimp imports continue to rebound


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 13, 2010

U.S. shrimp imports continued to bounce back in July, topping 107 million pounds, up 6.6 percent from July 2009, according to figures the National Marine Fisheries Service released late last week.

After dropping in 10 of the last 11 months, U.S. shrimp imports have increased in each of the past two months (June and July).

Through the first seven months of 2010, U.S. shrimp imports were still down 1.4 percent, to 607.7 million pounds, from the same seven-month period last year. Last year, shrimp imports totaled 1.21 billion pounds.

Among the top six suppliers, the biggest increase in July came from Ecuador, which watched its shrimp exports to the U.S. market jump 36.3 percent, to 14.8 million pounds. Through July, U.S. shrimp imports from Ecuador were up 11.2 percent, to 93.5 million pounds.

The biggest drop came from Mexico, which saw its shrimp exports to the U.S. market plunge 92.8 percent, to just 238,000 pounds. Through July, U.S. shrimp imports from Mexico are down 23.3 percent, to 23.5 million pounds.

Wild Mexican shrimp has been subject to a U.S. import ban in effect since in April, when the U.S. State Department cited a limited number of Mexican trawlers fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and Sea of Cortez for failing to use turtle excluder devices (TEDs) properly and inadvertently trapping sea turtles.

It’s also been a tough year for Indonesia. The country’s shrimp exports to the U.S. market were down 21.7 percent, to 77.7 million pounds, in the first seven months of 2010, even though they increased 19.9 percent, to 12.8 million pounds, in July alone.

U.S. shrimp imports from Thailand, by far the No. 1 supplier to the U.S. market, were up 5.1 percent in July, to 37.9 million pounds, and up 10.1 percent in the first seven months of 2010, to 214.5 million pounds.

Typically, U.S. shrimp imports start to pick up in mid-summer before surging in late summer/early fall in time for the hectic winter holiday season.

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