U.S. shrimp imports up 7% in May

After falling in April, U.S. shrimp imports rebounded in May, increasing 7.2 percent, to 82.2 million pounds, according to figures released by NOAA Fisheries on Tuesday.

U.S. shrimp imports remain on pace to top last year’s total of 1.23 billion pounds. Through the first five months of 2011, they were up 3.3 percent, to 413.2 million pounds, according to NOAA Fisheries. Through April, they were up just 2.4 percent, to 331 million pounds.

Among the top 10 suppliers to the U.S. market, only shrimp imports from three countries were down from last year through May — Thailand, China and Mexico. Shrimp imports from Thailand — by far the United States’ No. 1 shrimp supplier — were down 4.4 percent through May, to 135.9 million pounds. Shrimp imports from China were down 13.7 percent, to 29.1 million pounds, while shrimp imports from Mexico were down 42 percent, to 13 million pounds.

However, through May, shrimp imports from the No. 2 and No. 3 suppliers — Indonesia and Ecuador — were up 22.8 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, to 65.1 million pounds and 61.6 million pounds. Shrimp imports from Vietnam were up 16.8 percent, followed by India (up 107.5 percent), Malaysia (up 7 percent), Bangladesh (up 26.3 percent) and Guyana (up 3.8 percent).

Through May, shrimp imports have increased in 10 of the last 12 months. That’s a significant turnaround from late 2009 and early 2010, when imports dropped in 10 of 11 months.


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