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Catfish Processing Report

By the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Catfish Processing Up 22 Percent from Last Year

Farm-raised catfish processed during April 2008 totaled 46.2 million pounds round weight, up 22 percent from April 2007. The average price paid to producers was 75.2 cents per pound for April 2008, up 0.9 cent from last month but 8.9 cents below a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during April 2008 totaled 21.8 million pounds, up 14 percent from the comparable month in 2007. The total end of the month inventory increased 12 percent from last month but was down 36 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 8.16 million pounds, were up 10 percent from April 2007 and represented 37 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 13.7 million pounds, were up 17 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 63 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 20 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 57 percent, and the remaining 23 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

The April 2008 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.31 per pound, down 26 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.55 per pound, down 20 cents from April 2007. Prices for fresh fillets were down 24 cents from a year ago at $3.03 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.41 per pound, down 16 cents from April 2007. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were down 17 cents at $2.06 and frozen fillets at $2.88 per pound were down 21 cents from a year ago.

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for March 2008 totaled 7.88 million pounds, up 23 percent from the amount imported in March 2007. Imports were from Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 2.04 million pounds, which were from Brazil, Canada, China, and Thailand.

Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 106 thousand pounds, with 100 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to Italy and the Netherlands. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for March 2008 totaled 11.9 thousand pounds going to Aruba and the Netherlands.

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

U. S. Catfish Processed

U. S. Average Grower Price

Further Reading

More information - You can view the full report by clicking here.