U.S. shrimp imports slip in February
U.S. shrimp imports fell for the first time in five months in February, totaling 74.7 million pounds, down 3.2 percent from February 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported on Tuesday.
The drop in February is due primarily to Thailand — by far the No. 1 shrimp supplier to the U.S. market — and China. Shrimp imports from Thailand fell 11.6 percent to 24.4 million pounds in February, while shrimp imports from China fell a surprising 36.2 percent to 5.5 million pounds. Indonesia also watched it shrimp exports to the U.S. market drop 5 percent to 9.6 million pounds.
Shrimp imports from Ecuador, Vietnam, India, Malaysia and Bangladesh all increased in February.
Still, overall U.S. shrimp imports have increased in seven of the last nine months through February (in September they dipped a mere 0.7 percent). That’s a significant improvement from late 2009 and early 2010, when shrimp imports tumbled in 10 of 11 months.
Through the first two months of 2010, shrimp imports are up 3.2 percent to 174.6 million pounds.
Last year, shrimp imports topped 1.23 billion pounds, up 1.8 percent from 2009. That’s the highest total since 2008’s 1.24 billion pounds.
U.S. shrimp imports for March and the first quarter of 2011 are due to be released on 11 May.