U.S. shrimp imports fall in April
U.S. shrimp imports fell for the second consecutive month in April, down 2.5 percent, to 81 million pounds, compared to April 2009, according to figures the National Marine Fisheries Service released on Thursday. In fact, U.S. shrimp imports have dropped in nine of the last 10 months.
Through the first four months of 2010, U.S. shrimp imports were down 3.9 percent, to 323.2 million pounds, from the same period last year.
Thailand and China are primarily responsible for preventing shrimp imports from falling too far off pace. Shrimp imports from Thailand, by far the No. 1 U.S. shrimp supplier, were up 16.7 percent, to 118 million pounds, through April. In April alone, they were up an impressive 47.4 percent, to 33.7 million pounds. Shrimp imports from China were up 12.1 percent, to 26 million pounds, through April.
Malaysia, last year's No. 8 U.S. shrimp supplier, has apparently stepped up its production — shrimp imports from the country were up 42.9 percent, to 12.6 million pounds, through April.
The dropoff in U.S. shrimp imports is mainly a result of Indonesia, which is battling an outbreak of the infectious myonecrosis virus. Shrimp imports from the country, last year's No. 2 U.S. shrimp supplier, were down 29.6 percent, to 43.2 million pounds, through April.
U.S. shrimp imports from Ecuador and Vietnam, last year's No. 3 and No. 5 U.S. shrimp suppliers, respectively, were also down through April.
Last year, U.S. shrimp imports totaled 1.21 billion pounds, down 2.8 percent from 2008.