US buyers paying more for seafood in 2018

Published on
August 9, 2018

The value of U.S. seafood imports increased significantly for the first six months of the year, while volume dropped slightly, according to new data from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

The overall value of seafood purchased by U.S. buyers spiked from around USD 10.4 billion (EUR 8.95 billion) for the first six months of 2017 to around USD 10.9 billion (EUR 9.4 billion) during the same timeframe in 2018, NMFS found. Meanwhile, the overall volume of imported seafood declined from 1.374 kilos last year to 1.371 kilos during the first six months of 2018. 

Fresh Atlantic salmon, along with shelf-stable, fresh, and frozen tuna, were among the biggest gainers in dollar value. 

The value of fresh farmed Atlantic salmon fillets spiked from around USD 486 million (EUR 418 million) for the first six months of 2017 to around USD 527 million (EUR 454 million) in 2018. 

Imports of fresh farmed Atlantic salmon from Chile more than doubled it figures, rising from around USD 15 million (EUR 13 million) in 2017 to USD 32 million (EUR 28 million) this year.

The value of frozen NSPF tuna fillets skyrocketed from around USD 157 million (EUR 135 million) in the first six month of 2017 to USD 180.8 million (EUR 156 million) from January to June this year. The value of fresh yellowfin tuna fillets rose from USD 79.6 million (EUR 68 million) last year to 83.3 million (EUR 72 million) in 2018.

While volumes of non-breaded frozen warmwater shrimp rose 6.4 percent from January through June of this year, the average unit value of the imported non-breaded frozen warmwater shrimp declined – from USD 4.43 (EUR 3.81) a pound to USD 4.30 (EUR 3.70) per pound, Deborah Long, a spokesperson for the Southern Shrimp Alliance, told SeafoodSource. 

“Although this is a small decline in price, the effects on U.S. market prices for shrimp are augmented as shrimp imports have become increasingly concentrated in peeled and cooked forms,” Long said. 

Meanwhile, domestic shrimp prices have also fallen in 2018. June ex-vessel prices reported for the northern and western Gulf of Mexico for all 26/30-count shrimp declined as much as 15 percent, compared to June 2017, according to Long.

Contributing Editor



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