Net pounds of processed fish sold during January 2009 totaled 19.2 million pounds, down 22 percent from the comparable month in 2008. The total end of the month inventory decreased 9 percent from last month but was up 10 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 7.04 million pounds, were down 19 percent from January 2008 and represented 37 percent of total sales.
Frozen fish sales, at 12.2 million pounds, were down 23 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 63 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 17 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 59 percent, and the remaining 24 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.
The January 2009 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.56 per pound, up 35 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.72 per pound, up 23 cents from January 2008. Prices for fresh fillets were up 40 cents from a year ago at $3.30 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.59 per pound, up 38 cents from January 2008. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 24 cents at $2.26 and frozen fillets at $3.03 per pound were up 39 cents from a year ago.
Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for December 2008 totaled 7.82 million pounds, up 14 percent from the amount imported in December 2007. Imports were from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 2.43 million pounds, which were from China and Mexico.
Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 74.4 thousand pounds, with 56.8 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to the Bahamas, Mexico and the Netherlands. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for December 2008 totaled 7.3 thousand pounds all going to Mexico. Import and export data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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