April 19, 2004

 

 

U.S. Shrimp Imports Doubles In February

  

The U.S. just released the February import figures, and as expected, they showed a surge in shrimp imports from countries targeted in the shrimp anti-dumping suit.

 

Total shrimp imports in February 2004 were 134.02 million pounds, vs. 67.8 million pounds in Feb. 2003, or almost exactly double.

 

Among the countries targeted in the anti-dumping suit, both Thailand and China increased their shipments by over 200%, while Vietnam and India increased exports nearly 100%. Only Brazil showed a significant drop, due mostly to seasonal production factors.

 

The actual figures are as follows (in millions of pounds):

 

Country

2004

2003

Percent Change

Thailand

50.2

16.4

207%

China

22.1

6.4

245%

Vietnam

13.8

7.0

97%

India

14.7

7.9

86%

Ecuador

8.4

6.1

35%

Brazil

2.5

4.5

-44%

 

 Looking at the year to date figures, in the first two months of the year, the U.S. imported 230.2 million pounds, vs. 143.6 million during the first two months of 2003. This represents 21% of the total U.S. imports last year, during the first 60 days of 2004.

 

However, U.S. consumption is so large that even this surge represents only an additional few weeks supply. To maintain the same consumption level as last year, the U.S. will have to import 92.6 million pounds per month. Through March, that means about 280 million pounds. This year, through February, we have imported 230 million pounds.

 

If industry reports are correct, and shipments from Thailand, China, and elsewhere are drastically curtailed in March, at the end of the month there still would be about 280 million pounds of shrimp imported.

 

What this shows is how large the overall market is, and even with shipments from a particular country doubling or tripling in a given month, it is little more than a few weeks supply, given the size of the market. But like the oil industry, in shrimp a small change in the total flow of product can quickly show up in changing prices.