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Catfish Report: Processing Down 12 Percent

US - Report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department ofAgriculture.

Catfish Processing Down Slightly from Last Year

Farm-raised catfish processed during January 2008 totaled 46.0 million pounds round weight, down slightly from January 2007. The average price paid to producers was 65.8 cents per pound for January 2008, up 0.8 cent from last month and 17.9 cents below a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during January 2008 totaled 24.7 million pounds, up 8 percent from the comparable month in 2007. The total end of the month inventory decreased 15 percent from last month and was down 33 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 8.74 million pounds, were up 11 percent from January 2007 and represented 35 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 15.9 million pounds, were up 6 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 65 percent of total fish sales. Sales of whole fish represented 18 percent of the total fish sold, fillets accounted for 59 percent, and the remaining 23 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

The January 2008 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.21 per pound, down 38 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.49 per pound, down 30 cents from January 2007. Prices for fresh fillets were down 38 cents from a year ago at $2.90 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.21 per pound, down 31 cents from January 2007. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were down 24 cents at $2.02 and frozen fillets at $2.64 per pound were down 45 cents from a year ago.

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for December 2007 totaled 6.88 million pounds, down 23 percent from the amount imported in December 2006. Imports were from Brazil, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.68 million pounds, which were from Brazil and China.

Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 92.3 thousand pounds, with 61.3 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest to Mexico and the Netherlands. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for December 2007 totaled 5.7 thousand pounds, which went to Japan and Mexico.

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

2007 Catfish Processing Down 12 Percent

Farm-raised catfish processed during 2007 totaled 496 million pounds, 12 percent below the 566 million pounds processed in 2006. The average priced paid to producers in 2007 was 76.7 cents per pound, 4 percent below the 79.5 cents paid last year.

Net pounds of processed catfish sold in 2007 totaled 252 million pounds, down 11 percent from the 284 million pounds sold last year.

The 2007 average price received for processed fish was $2.44 per pound, down 1 percent from $2.46 a year ago.

Inventory on hand at the end of 2007 totaled 15.1 million pounds, a decrease of 17 percent from the 18.2 million pounds on hand at the close of 2006.

Catfish Processed
United States 2006-2008

Average Grower Price
United States 2006-2008

Please click here to view the full report with tables