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Catfish Processing Down 35 Per Cent

by the Fish Site Editor
22 June 2011, at 1:00am

US - The latest report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows that farm-raised catfish processed during May 2011 reached 24.7 million pounds round weight, down 35 per cent from May 2010.

The average price paid to producers was $1.17 per pound for May 2011, up 2.8 cents from last month and 37.3 cents above a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during May 2011 totaled 12.6 million pounds, down 34 per cent from the comparable month in 2010. Sales of fresh fish, at 4.75 million pounds, were down 35 per cent from May 2010 and represented 38 per cent of total sales.

Frozen fish sales, at 7.85 million pounds, were down 34 per cent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 62 per cent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 21 per cent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 59 per cent, and the remaining 20 per cent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

The total end of the month inventory decreased two per cent from last month and was down 54 per cent from a year ago.

The total fresh and frozen average price for May 2011 was $3.51, up $1.03 from a year ago. The May 2011 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $3.38 per pound, up 94 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $2.40 per pound, up 85 cents from May 2010.

Prices for fresh fillets were up $1.30 from a year ago at $4.55 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $3.58 per pound, up $1.08 from May 2010. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 70 cents at $2.93 and frozen fillets at $4.22 per pound were up $1.23 from a year ago.

Imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for April 2011 totalled 13.3 million pounds, up 51 per cent from the amount imported in April 2010. Imports were from Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 216 thousand pounds, which were from China and Mexico.

Fresh catfish fillet exports totalled 38.7 thousand pounds, with 33.6 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to the Netherlands, Antilles and Nigeria. No exports of frozen catfish fillets for April 2011 were reported.

the Fish Site Editor