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Catfish processing falls to lowest June weight for ten years

US - Catfish processing is down 10 per cent against the same period last year, says the monthly report from National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Farm-raised catfish processed during June 2007 totaled 37.3 million pounds round weight, down 10 per cent from June 2006. This total is the lowest reported June round weight processed since June 1996 when 36.8 million pounds were processed. The average price paid to producers was 81.7 cents per pound for June 2007, down 2.3 cents from last month, but 1.0 cent above a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during June 2007 totaled 19.5 million pounds, down 11 percent from the comparable month in 2006. The total end of the month inventory decreased 3 percent from last month, but was up 93 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 7.11 million pounds, were down 8 percent from June 2006 and represented 37 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 12.3 million pounds, were down 12 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 63 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 18 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 62 percent, and the remaining 20 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

Price drop
The June 2007 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.53 per pound, down 3 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.71 per pound, down 3 cents from June 2006. Prices for fresh fillets were up 12 cents at $3.26 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.54 per pound, unchanged from June 2006. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 1 cent at $2.20 and frozen fillets at $2.98 per pound were unchanged from a year ago.

Freshwater imports of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for May 2007 totaled 5.43 million pounds, up 64 percent from the amount imported in May 2006. Imports were from Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.39 million pounds, which were from Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, and Peru.

Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 51.8 thousand pounds, with all going to Canada. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for May 2007 totaled 5.1 thousand pounds, with all going to Iceland.

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

Catfish Processed
United States 2005-2007

Average Grower Price
United States 2005-2007

To view the full report, including tables, please click here (PDF Format)