U.S. shrimp imports up again in January

U.S. shrimp imports totaled nearly 100 million pounds in January, up 8.6 percent from January 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported late last week. That’s the highest January total since 2008 when they exceeded 107 million pounds.

What’s more, shrimp imports have increased in seven of the last eight months through January (in September they fell a mere 0.7 percent). That’s a big improvement from late 2009 and early 2010, when shrimp imports slipped in 10 of 11 months.

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.

What’s surprising is that among the top eight suppliers, only two — Thailand and India — watched their shrimp exports to the U.S. market jump in 2010. Imports from Thailand were up 10.9 percent to 32.5 million pounds, while imports from India were up 19.1 percent to 2.9 million pounds. Thailand is by far the No. 1 shrimp supplier to the U.S. market.

Meanwhile, shrimp imports from Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam, China, Mexico and Malaysia all dropped. The biggest drops came from Vietnam (down 37.5 percent to 6.5 million pounds), China (down 43.9 percent to 7.8 million pounds) and Malaysia (down 48.5 percent to 3.2 million pounds).

U.S. shrimp imports for February are scheduled to be released on 12 April.


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