Catfish Processing Down 21 Percent from Last Year
Farm-raised catfish processed during February 2009 totaled 37.7 million pounds round weight, down 21 percent from February 2008. The average price paid to producers was 77.0 cents per pound for February 2009, down 4.0 cents from last month but 8.2 cents above a year ago.
Net pounds of processed fish sold during February 2009 totaled 20.7 million pounds, down 17 percent from the comparable month in 2008. The total end of the month inventory decreased 16 percent from last month but was up 7 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 7.29 million pounds, were down 22 percent from February 2008 and represented 35 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 13.4 million pounds, were down 15 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 65 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 18 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 58 percent, and the remaining 24 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.
The February 2009 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.46 per pound, up 23 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.67 per pound, up 17 cents from February 2008. Prices for fresh fillets were up 36 cents from a year ago at $3.24 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.59 per pound, up 28 cents from February 2008. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 13 cents at $2.20 and frozen fillets at $3.02 per pound were up 29 cents from a year ago.
Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for January 2009 totaled 9.82 million pounds, up 2 percent from the amount imported in January 2008. Imports were from Cambodia, Canada, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 2.34 million pounds, which were from China, Mexico, and Spain.
Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 87.0 thousand pounds, with 50.8 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to Bahamas and the Netherlands. No exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets were reported for January 2009.
Import and export data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.
U. S. Catfish Processed
U. S. Average Grower Price
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