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July 20, 2019

 

US refusals of seafood imports at historically low level in June

 

 

The US refused a total of just 55 seafood entry lines in June which, by a significant margin, is the lowest monthly total of seafood entry line refusals for any month since October 2001, when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started reporting such data on its website.

 

It is possible that this total will be subsequently increased by any additional entry line refusals that took place on June 28, 29 and 30, as the last seafood entry line refusal reported for the month was on June 27.

 

However, any upward revision is likely to be limited, according to the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA) in a news release.

 

Three, or 5.5%, of the 55 total seafood entry line refusals were of shrimp due to antibiotic-related issues.

 

As per data compiled by the SSA, a total of 47 entry lines of shrimp were refused in the first half of the year for reasons related to veterinary drug residues, compared with 53 all of last year and 55 in all of 2017.

 

As shown in the table below, the number of shrimp entry line refusals this year exceeds the annual refusals by the FDA reported between 2002 and 2006.

 

3 shrimp entry lines refused in June

 

The three shrimp entry lines refused in June due to veterinary drug residues were from two different exporters in the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

 

As of June, shrimp imports from the UAE account for 14 of the 47 shrimp entry lines refused for reasons related to banned antibiotics. Only India, which accounts for 26 of the remaining 33 shrimp entry lines refused for this reason, has higher refusals.

 

Through the first four months, the US imported only 126,245 pounds of frozen, non-breaded shrimp from the UAE with a declared commercial value of $762,660.

 

In contrast, the US imported 164.5 million pounds of frozen, non-breaded shrimp from India, worth $637.1 million, from January to April. Accordingly, the shrimp entry line refusals for UAE appear to account for a substantial portion of overall shrimp imports from that country.

 

The entry line refusal of shrimp from Venezuela was the first such refusal since 2017 and only the second since 2008. SSA said low-priced shrimp imports from Venezuela have been increasing rapidly this year, as the volume of frozen, non-breaded shrimp imports from that country were 43.2% higher in the first four months compared with the same period in 2018.
 
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