U.S. shrimp imports hit two-year high

It’s official. U.S. shrimp imports totaled just over 1.23 billion pounds last year, up 1.8 percent from 2009, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported over the weekend. That’s the highest total since 2008’s 1.24 billion pounds.

In December alone, U.S. shrimp imports came to 115.9 million pounds, up an impressive 7.7 percent from December 2009.

It’s been a roller-coaster year for U.S. shrimp imports, and the global shrimp trade in general. But the second half of 2010 was definitely better than the first half. Shrimp imports increased in six of the last seven months (in September they fell a mere 0.7 percent). Prior to June, they had dropped in 10 of the last 11 months.

Among the top eight suppliers, only two — Indonesia and Mexico — watched their shrimp exports to the U.S. market slip in 2010. Imports from Indonesia were down 11.8 percent to 134.7 million pounds, while imports from Mexico were down 42.8 percent to 51.9 million pounds. Indonesia was the No. 2 supplier to the U.S. market last year, and Mexico came in at No. 8.

Shrimp imports from Thailand, by far the No. 1 supplier to the U.S. market, were up 5.9 percent to 444.8 million pounds in 2010.
Rounding out the top eight suppliers last year were Ecuador at No. 3, China at No. 4, Vietnam at No. 5, India at No. 6 and Malaysia at No. 7. The biggest increase came from India, which saw its shrimp exports to the U.S. market jump 52.6 percent to 66.5 million pounds in 2010.


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