U.S. shrimp imports up in 1H

After falling in April and increasing in May, U.S. shrimp imports stumbled again in June, declining 3.7 percent, to 97 million pounds, according to figures released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service on Thursday.

However, U.S. shrimp imports remain on pace to top last year’s total of 1.23 billion pounds. Through the first half of 2011, they were up 1.9 percent, to just over 510 million pounds, according to NOAA Fisheries.

Among the top six suppliers to the U.S. market, shrimp imports from four countries were down through June from last year — Thailand, Ecuador, China and Mexico. Shrimp imports from Thailand — by far the United States’ No. 1 shrimp supplier — were down 4.4 percent through June, to 168.9 million pounds. Shrimp imports from Ecuador were down 2.3 percent, to 77 million pounds, while shrimp imports from China were down 13.8 percent, to 35.2 million pounds. And shrimp imports from Mexico were down 36.3 percent, to 14.8 million pounds.

However, through May, shrimp imports from the No. 2 and No. 4 suppliers — Indonesia and Vietnam — were up 19.8 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively, to 77.7 million pounds and 37.1 million pounds. 

Through June, shrimp imports have increased in 11 of the last 13 months. That’s a significant turnaround from late 2009 and early 2010, when imports dropped in 10 of 11 months.


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