US shrimp imports set record in 2018, with India hitting 500-million-pound milestone

Published on
March 6, 2019

Newly-released year-end figures revealed the United States imported 695,723 metric tons of shrimp in 2018, setting a new tonnage record for the third year in a row.

The figures, released on Wednesday, 6 March by NOAA’s Office of Science and Technology, show the U.S. imported 4.8 percent more shrimp in 2018 than the year prior.

The total was augmented by 62,330 metric tons (MT) of shrimp imports in December 2018, up 4.3 percent from the 59,786 MT imported in December 2017.

As expected, India achieved the milestone of becoming the first country to top 500 million pounds of shrimp imported to the United States in a calendar year, importing 546,872 million pounds, or 248,127 MT, in 2018.

Indonesia tallied 132,344 MT of shrimp exports to the U.S. in 2018, ranking it second overall in 2018, followed by Ecuador with 75,891 MT. Indonesia exported 118,057 MT of shrimp to the U.S. in 2017, while Ecuador totaled 71,788 MT. Its higher total in 2018 moved it past Thailand in the rankings, as the Southeast Asian country saw a decline in its shrimp exports to the U.S. from 74,523 MT in 2017 to 49,703 MT in 2018.

Vietnam also moved past Thailand, with 58,383 MT of shrimp exports to the U.S., good enough for fourth place. China moved up as well, with 40,824 MT of shrimp exports to the U.S. 

Argentina, Guyana, and Mexico – seventh, eighth, and tenth, respectively in the rankings – all saw slight dips in their production in 2018. Peru, in ninth place, recorded an uptick from 9,950 MT of U.S. exports in 2017 to 10,532 MT in 2018.

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