U.S. shrimp imports jump in April
U.S. shrimp imports increased for the second consecutive month in April, reaching 83.1 million pounds, up 6.3 percent from April 2008, according to figures the National Marine Fisheries Service released on Wednesday.
After falling 13.2 percent in January and 13.8 percent in February, U.S. shrimp imports rebounded in March and April, jumping 8.7 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively.
However, shrimp imports through April were still down 4.2 percent from the same four-month period last year, to 336.3 million pounds.
The culprits: China and Vietnam, which watched their shrimp exports to the United States drop 32.9 percent and 20.9 percent, respectively. Through April, shrimp imports from China totaled 23.2 million pounds, while imports from Vietnam came to 18.4 million pounds.
Shrimp imports from Thailand — by far the United States’ No. 1 shrimp supplier — were down 1.4 percent through April, to 101.1 million pounds, while imports from Indonesia were down only 0.7 percent, to 61.3 million pounds.
However, shrimp imports from Ecuador were up 7.7 percent through April, to 48.9 million pounds.
Thailand, Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam and China were the United States’ top five shrimp suppliers last year, representing nearly three-quarters of total U.S. shrimp imports, which exceeded 1.24 billion pounds.