Aquaculture for all

Catfish Processing Up Eight Percent on Last Year

US - Farm-raised catfish processed during March 2008 totaled 49.0 million pounds round weight, up eight per cent from March 2007. The average price paid to producers was 74.5 cents per pound for March 2008, up 5.7 cents from last month but 9.3 cents below a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during March 2008 totaled 24.1 million pounds, up three percent from the comparable month in 2007. The total end of the month inventory decreased five percent from last month and was down 44 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 8.82 million pounds, were unchanged from March 2007 and represented 37 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 15.3 million pounds, were up five percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 63 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 17 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 61 percent, and the remaining 22 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

The March 2008 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.33 per pound, down 22 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.56 per pound, down 15 cents from March 2007. Prices for fresh fillets were down 31 cents from a year ago at $2.96 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.39 per pound, down 14 cents from March 2007. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were down 8 cents at $2.12 and frozen fillets at $2.78 per pound were down 33 cents from a year ago.

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for February 2008 totaled 9.60 million pounds, up 27 percent from the amount imported in February 2007. Imports were from Cambodia, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 2.58 million pounds, which were from China and Trinidad and Tobago.

Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 71.6 thousand pounds, with 56.8 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to Mexico and the Netherlands. No exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets were reported for February 2008.

Import and export data are compiled by the US Census Bureau.

U. S. Catfish Processed

U. S. Average Grower Price

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