U.S. shrimp imports top 1-billion-pound mark

U.S. shrimp imports remain on track to top last year’s total of 1.23 billion pounds, according to figures released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service on Friday.

Through the first 10 months of 2011, U.S. shrimp imports were up 3.9 percent, to just over 1 billion pounds.

For October alone, shrimp imports were up only 0.3 percent, to just over 135.5 million pounds. That’s the fourth consecutive month that shrimp imports have grown. A month earlier, shrimp imports were up 10.9 percent, the largest monthly increase this year.

Shrimp imports from Thailand — by far the United States’ No. 1 shrimp supplier — were down 6.8 percent, to 329.9 million pounds, through the first 10 months of 2011. The country is recovering from the worst flooding in decades, which has impaired its shrimp production, distribution and storage.

However, Indonesia and Ecuador are picking up the slack. So far this year, shrimp imports from Indonesia were up 14.4 percent, to 128.4 million pounds, while shrimp imports from Ecuador were up 11 percent, to 135.8 million pounds.

China and Vietnam are stumbling a bit, with shrimp imports from the two countries down 9.6 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, so far this year.

Not so for India, which has ramped up its vannamei production this year. Shrimp imports from the country were up an impressive 76.9 percent, to 87.3 million pounds, through the first 10 months of 2011. India is in line to be the United States’ No. 4 shrimp supplier this year, which would be up from No. 6 last year.

U.S. shrimp imports for November are due to be released on 13 January.


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