Aquaculture for all

Catfish Processing Down Marginally

US - Farm-raised catfish processed during December 2007 totaled 39.1 million pounds round weight, down 6 per cent from December 2006. This total is the lowest reported December round weight processed since December 1996 when 36.9 million pounds were processed.

The average price paid to producers was also lower at 64.8 cents per pound for December 2007, down 1.8 cents from last month and 19.0 cents below a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during December 2007 totaled 18.3 million pounds, down 13 percent from the comparable month in 2006. The total end of the month inventory increased 11 percent from last month but was down 17 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 6.46 million pounds, were down 7 percent from December 2006 and represented 35 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 11.9 million pounds, were down 16 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 65 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 17 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 60 percent, and the remaining 23 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

The December 2007 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.26 per pound, down 29 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.56 per pound, down 24 cents from December 2006. Prices for fresh fillets were down 35 cents from a year ago at $2.90 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.26 per pound, down 28 cents from December 2006. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were down 22 cents at $2.02 and frozen fillets at $2.75 per pound were down 28 cents from a year ago.

Imports down

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for November 2007 totaled 7.25 million pounds, down 44 percent from the amount imported in November 2006. Imports were from Cambodia, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.20 million pounds, which were from China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 97.4 thousand pounds, with 70.9 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest to the Netherlands. No exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets were reported for November 2007.

Import and export data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Further Reading

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