U.S. shrimp imports up 4.4% in 1Q

After falling for the first time in five months in February, U.S. shrimp imports rebounded in March, jumping 7.3 percent, to 78.3 million pounds, according to new figures from NOAA Fisheries.

The increase in March is due primarily to Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam and India. Shrimp imports from the four countries — all of which are among the United States’ top seven shrimp suppliers — were up 28.1 percent, 20.5 percent, 27.1 percent and 58.4 percent, respectively. Shrimp imports from Thailand — by far the No. 1 shrimp supplier to the U.S. market — also increased, by 4.9 percent, to 25.9 million pounds.

For the first quarter of 2011, shrimp imports were up 4.4 percent, to 252.9 million pounds. Among the top seven suppliers, only imports from China and Mexico were down from the first quarter of 2010. Imports from China were down 71.2 percent, to 17.6 million pounds, while imports from Mexico were down 48 percent, to 9.4 million pounds.

Imports from Indonesia, Vietnam and India were up 14.4 percent and 24.8 percent, respectively, while India has more than doubled its exports to the U.S. market, to 16 million pounds.

Through March, shrimp imports have increased in eight of the last 10 months. That’s a considerable improvement from late 2009 and early 2010, when imports dropped in 10 of 11 months.

Last year, shrimp imports exceeded 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 April are due to be released on 9 June.


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