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January 8, 2015

United States

John Sackton...“More Shrimp Imports on the Way”


Import data show that 2014 will likely be one of the top two or three years for shrimp imports.  Through November 2014, imports of all types of shrimp were 1.144 billion pounds.


The record year for imports was 2006, with 1.3 billion pounds.  In 2011, the second highest year, imports were 1.267 billion pounds, and in 2008, the third highest year, they were 1.248 billion pounds.   In most years, December import volume is between 105 and 115 million pounds, meaning that when December is added to the November total, 2014 is likely to end up as the second or third highest year ever.


Note that this is coming in a year when global shrimp production is still well below its peak level, last seen in 2012.  This is a clear sign that the relative strength of the USA dollar and the continuing USA economic recovery are increasing the USA market share of the global shrimp supply.


Prices, based on Urner Barry’s size-weighted white shrimp index, are now nearly 11% below their level at the end of October.  That’s a pretty dramatic fall in the space of 60 days.


One key indicator to watch will be retail shrimp sales during the holidays and the upcoming super bowl.  If we go into the spring with low inventories and confidence based on good product movement, sales may increase.  In 2013, USA per capita shrimp consumption was the lowest in more than a decade.  It appears that it will improve in 2014, and there is also room for it to improve further in 2015.


At the moment however, the data still show a flood of shrimp coming toward the USA without any sense of a market bottom.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  The Editor's View with John Sackton: More Shrimp Imports on the Way.  John Sackton.  January 7, 2015.

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