US shrimp imports down for second straight month

Published on
April 18, 2019

Shrimp imports into the United States fell again in February, with a drop of nearly 10 percent over the same month a year prior.

The U.S. brought in 42,871 metric tons (MT) of shrimp, 9.9 percent less than the 47,568 MT imported in February 2018. Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Thailand all saw significant decreases in the amount of shrimp they sent to the U.S. in February.

The major outlier to the trend continued to be India, which saw its total rise from 13,361 MT in February 2018 to 16,053 MT in February 2019, an increase of more than 20 percent. India also saw an increase in January 2019, and it was by far the largest importer of shrimp into the U.S. in 2018, becoming the first country to import 500 million pounds of shrimp in a calendar year. 

The shrimp import figures were released on Wednesday, 17 April, by NOAA’s Office of Science and Technology.

Through February 2019, the U.S. imported almost 12,000 MT less shrimp than it did in the first two months of 2018.

Indonesia experienced a large drop in its shipments, sending 8,563 MT of shrimp in February 2019 versus 11,448 MT in February 2018. China’s total also dropped significantly, from 3,948 MT to 2,143 MT. Vietnam’s total dropped from 3,289 MT to 2,505 MT, and Thailand saw its shrimp exports to the U.S. decline from 3,124 MT in February 2018 to 2,136 MT in February 2019. Ecuador saw a smaller dip, from 6,393 MT to 5,975 MT.

Between the first two months of this year and the same time period last year, China’s shrimp exports to the U.S. have plunged 58.9 percent; Thailand’s have plunged 32.3 percent, and Indonesia and Ecuador both have experienced 17.7 percent drops.

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