US shrimp imports down in January; Devi Seafoods, Thai Union, Fimex receive import alerts

Shrimp baskets
Shrimp baskets | Photo courtesy of Phensri Ngamsommitr/Shutterstock
4 Min

The U.S. imported a total of 59,442 metric tons (MT), or 131 million pounds in January 2024, down from the 68,734 MT, or 151 million pounds, sent in January 2023.  That continued a decline begun in 2023, when the U.S. imported 1.7 billion pounds (785,837 MT) of shrimp, down around 114 million pounds, or 52,000 MT, from its 2022 total. 

India, which has been the top exporter of shrimp to the U.S. for the past 10 years, sent 20,055 MT, or 44 million pounds, of shrimp to the U.S. in January 2024, less than the 24,497 MT, or 54 million pounds, the South Asian country sent in January 2023.

Ecuador exported 17,648 MT, or 38 million pounds,  of shrimp to the U.S. in January 2024, down from 18,718 MT, or 41 million pounds, of shrimp to the U.S.

Indonesia sent 11,387 MT, or 25 million pounds, of shrimp to the U.S. in January 2024. This total is lower than the 14,158 MT, or 31 million pounds, of shrimp sent to the U.S. in January 2023.

The remaining top 10 shrimp exporters to the U.S. in January 2024 include Vietnam in fourth place, which shipped 3,627 MT, or 7.9 million pounds, of shrimp. That total is lower than the 3,846 MT, or 8.5 million pounds, exported from the nation to the U.S. in January 2023. 

Mexico was in fifth place, exporting 1,916 MT, or 4.2 million pounds, which is higher than last year’s January total of 1,776 MT, or 3.9 million pounds. Thailand was in sixth place, sending 1,851 MT, or 4 million pounds, down from 2,447 MT, or 5.4 million pounds in January 2023. Argentina was in seventh place with 1,159 MT, or 2.5 million pounds, higher than the 1,092 MT, or 2.4 million pounds it sent in January 2023. 

China, in eighth, shipped 474 MT, or 1 million pounds, which is lower than the 622 MT, or 1.3 million pounds, it sent in January 2023. Canada, in ninth, exported 149 MT, or 328,488 pounds, lower than the 173 MT, or 381,399 pounds it exported to its southern neighbor in January 2023. Guyana rounded out the top 10, sending 146 MT, or 321,874 pounds, which marks a significant jump from its total from January 2023 of 48 MT, or 105,821 pounds.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on 4 March 2024 that 16 seafood entry lines to the U.S. have been refused in 2024. Four of those lines involved shrimp from Thailand, India, Vietnam, and Japan refused due to contamination from banned antibiotics.

Visakhapatnam, India-based Devi Seafoods received an import alert for one shipment containing nitrofurans, recorded on 1 February. It also had one entry line refused for detention without physical examination of Detention Without Physical Examination of Seafood Products Due to Nitrofurans.

Thailand-based Thai Union was placed on the Import Alert 16-124 for ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole found in its 27 February shipment. 

Vietnam-based Fimex received an import alert for "Detention Without Physical Examination of Crustaceans Due to Chloramphenicol,” including breaded shrimp on 22 January and another for Chloramphenicol findings on 5 February.

Mumbai, India-based Kader Exports received an import alert for an entry line refused for the same import alert category in its 22 January shipment. It also had two other entry lines refused due to Import Alert 16-124, or "Detention Without Physical Examination of Aquaculture Seafood Products Due to Unapproved Drugs," for leucomalachite green found in its shrimp. 

India's Calcutta Seafoods received an Import Alert 16-129, "Detention Without Physical Examination of Seafood Products Due to Nitrofurans," on 16 February.

Japan-based Tokoro Fisheries Cooperative Association had one entry line refused due to the shrimp being contaminated with veterinary drug residues and unsafe additives found by the Division of West Coast Imports and reported on 6 February.

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