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Catfish Processing Down 32 Per Cent From Last Year

US - Farm-raised catfish processed during February 2011 totaled 27.8 million pounds round weight, down 32 per cent from February 2010.

The average price paid to producers was $1.00 per pound for February 2011, up 7.2 cents from last month and 23.8 cents above a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during February 2011 totaled 15.6 million pounds, down 31 per cent from the comparable month in 2010. Sales of fresh fish, at 5.23 million pounds, were down 36 per cent from February 2010 and represented 34 per cent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 10.3 million pounds, were down 29 per cent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 66 per cent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 18 per cent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 61 per cent, and the remaining 21 per cent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products. The total end of the month inventory decreased 19 per cent from last month and was down 23 per cent from a year ago.

The total fresh and frozen average price for February 2011 was $3.03, up 55 cents from a year ago. The February 2011 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.91 per pound, up 57 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $2.06 per pound, up 57 cents from February 2010. Prices for fresh fillets were up 65 cents from a year ago at $3.75 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $3.09 per pound, up 53 cents from February 2010. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 39 cents at $2.59 and frozen fillets at $3.56 per pound were up 64 cents from a year ago.

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for January 2011 totaled 16.3 million pounds, up 11 per cent from the amount imported in January 2010. Imports were from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.30 million pounds, which were from China and Indonesia.

Fresh, boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 53.9 thousand pounds, with 37.3 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to Germany. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for January 2011 totaled 10.2 thousand pounds, going to the Bahamas, Brazil, Guatemala, Kuwait, and Vietnam.

the Fish Site Editor

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