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Catfish Processing Down 37 Per Cent From Last Year

US - Farm-raised catfish processed during March 2011 totaled 29.4 million pounds round weight, down 37 per cent from March 2010.

The average price paid to producers was $1.07 per pound for March 2011, up 6.9 cents from last month and 28.7 cents above a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during March 2011 totaled 17.6 million pounds, down 22 per cent from the comparable month in 2010. Sales of fresh fish, at 5.84 million pounds, were down 31 per cent from March 2010 and represented 33 per cent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 11.8 million pounds, were down 16 per cent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 67 per cent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 19 per cent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 57 per cent, and the remaining 24 per cent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products. The total end of the month inventory decreased 32 per cent from last month and was down 49 percent from a year ago.

The total fresh and frozen average price for March 2011 was $3.22, up 80 cents from a year ago. The March 2011 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $3.12 per pound, up 83 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $2.17 per pound, up 67 cents from March 2010. Prices for fresh fillets were up $1 from a year ago at $4.23 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $3.26 per pound, up 76 cents from March 2010. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 46 cents at $2.68 and frozen fillets at $3.76 per pound were up 89 cents from a year ago.

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for February 2011 totaled 13.8 million pounds, up 32 per cent from the amount imported in February 2010. Imports were from Cambodia, Canada, China, Mexico, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.02 million pounds, which were from Canada, China, and Mexico.

Fresh, boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 56.7 thousand pounds, with 46.0 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to the Netherlands Antilles. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for February 2011 totaled 13.2 thousand pounds, going to Aruba, the Bahamas, Brazil, and Nigeria.

Import and export data are compiled by the United States Census Bureau.

the Fish Site Editor

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