2023 US shrimp imports lagged 52,000 MT behind 2022 totals

Baskets of shrimp in India.

The United States imported less shrimp year-over-year in 2023.  

Overall, U.S. shrimp imports were approximately 114 million pounds or 52,000 MT lower than the 2022 total. The U.S. imported 1.7 billion pounds (785,837 MT) of shrimp in 2023, lower than the 1.8 billion pounds (837,786 MT) it imported in 2022. 

The U.S. imported 144 million pounds of shrimp, or 65,169 metric tons (MT), in December 2023, lower than the 155 million pounds, or 70,680 MT, the U.S. imported in November 2023. 

India, Ecuador, and Indonesia maintained their positions as the top three shrimp-exporting nations to the U.S. in December 2023 in volume terms. 

India sent 50 million pounds, or 22,842 MT, lower than the 50.7 million pounds (23,025 MT) of shrimp the nation sent to the U.S. in December 2022. India maintained its spot as the largest U.S. shrimp supplier for the tenth straight year. In 2023, India exported 652 million pounds (296,104 MT), lower than the 669 million pounds (303,580 MT) in 2022.  

Ecuador sent the second-highest volume of shrimp to the U.S. at 38 million pounds (17,539 MT) in December 2023. That monthly total was more than the 33 million pounds (15,226 MT) it sent in December 2022 and the 34 million pounds (15,636 MT) it exported to the U.S. in November 2023. In 2023, Ecuador exported 453 million pounds (296,104 MT), lower than the 440 million pounds (199,795 MT) it sent in 2022.  

Indonesia exported 28 million pounds (13,123 MT), higher than the 28.7 million pounds (13,059 MT) of shrimp it sent to the U.S. in November 2023 and higher than in December 2022, when it exported 26 million pounds (11,935 MT). In 2023, the country sent 322 million pounds (146,259 MT) of shrimp to the U.S., down from 368 million pounds (166,923 MT) it sent in 2022. 

Vietnam shipped the fourth-most amount of shrimp of any nation to the U.S. in December 2023, hitting 10 million pounds (4,845 MT), up from 8 million pounds (3,804 MT) in December 2022, but less than the 12.9 million pounds (5,891 MT) the Southeast Asian country exported to the U.S. in November 2023. In 2023, Vietnam exported a total of 133 million pounds (60,476 MT), lower than the 151 million pounds (68,753 MT) it exported to the U.S. in 2022.  

Next in the rankings was Thailand, which shipped 4 million pounds (2,113 MT), down from the 4.9 million pounds (2,224 MT) it exported in December 2022 and then the 6.9 million pounds (3,142 MT) it exported in November 2023. Thailand exported a total of 61 million pounds (27,826 MT) in 2023, down from 81 million pounds (36,791 MT) the country sent in 2022.  

Mexico sent 3.7 million pounds (1,687 MT) of shrimp to the U.S., down from December 2022's 4.8 million pounds (2,214 MT) and its total in November 2023 of 4.5 million pounds (2,042 MT). In 2023, Mexico exported a total of 34 million pounds (15,639 MT) of shrimp, a decline from the 46 million pounds (20,978 MT) it shipped in 2022.  

Argentina was seventh in the rankings, exporting 2.5 million pounds (1,155 MT) to the U.S., an increase from its total in December 2022 of 2 million pounds (946 MT). In November 2023, Argentina sent 2.9 million pounds (1,335 MT) to the U.S. In 2023, the country sent 31 million pounds (14,300 MT), wa dip from the 36 million pounds (16,434 MT) in U.S. shrimp exports it recorded in 2022.  

China was eighth in the rankings, exporting 809,000 pounds (367 MT) to the U.S., down from its total in December 2022 of 1 million pounds (498 MT). In November 2023, China sent 504,000 pounds (229 MT). In 2023, China sent 7.9 million pounds (3,602 MT), down from the 11.7 million pounds (5,340 MT) sent in 2022.  

Saudi Arabia was ninth, exporting 679,000 pounds (308 MT) of shrimp to the U.S., down from the 701,000 pounds (318 MT) it shipped in December 2022, but up from the 233,690 pounds (106 MT) it sent in November 2023. In 2023, the country sent 3.5 million pounds (1,627 MT), up from the the 3.1 million pounds (1,450 MT) it achieved in 2022.  

Peru rounded out the top 10, exporting 418,878 pounds (190 MT), less than the 544,541 pounds (247 MT) it exported in December 2022 but more than the 264,000 pounds (132 MT) it sent in November 2023. In 2023, Peru exported 4.9 million pounds (2,228 MT), less than the 8.6 million pounds (3,919 MT) from 2022.  

On 5 February 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released information on 60 seafood entry line refusals it conducted in January 2024, with Indian and Ecuadorian shrimp exporters called out for exporting shrimp containing banned antibiotic contaminants. 

Calcutta Seafoods, based in Calcutta, India, received an import alert concerning three shipments on 19 July containing nitrofurans. 

Visakhapatnam, India-based Devi Seafoods received an import alert for one shipment containing nitrofurans, recorded on 5 January. It also had one entry line refused for detention without physical examination of aquaculture seafood products due to unapproved drugs, with the presence of gentian violet recorded on 1 February. 

Mumbai, India-based Kader Exports received an import alert for one shipment containing leucomalachite green in its 15 December shipment. It also had one entry line refused for detention without physical examination of aquaculture seafood products due to unapproved drugs, with the presence of gentian violet on 22 January. 

Montecristi, Ecuador-based Propemar received an import alert for "Detention Without Physical Examination of Crustaceans Due to Chloramphenicol." One of its shipments also contained nitrofurans, recorded on 11 January. 

Photo courtesy of Trairong Praditsan/Shutterstock 

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