These two months only account for between five and six per cent of the total annual shrimp harvest.
While harvests have been poor, the dockside prices reported by NOAA are historically high. For U15s, NOAA reports a dockside price in the Northern Gulf of $9.25 compared to $6.45 last February, $6.60 in February 2012, $6.25 in February 2011, $4.50 in February 2010 and 2009, and $6.60 in February 2008.
That inflated price is consistent across count sizes, with the Northern Gulf dockside price for 41/50s reported as $3.70, compared to $2.35 last February, $2.30 the year before that, $2.10 in February 2011, $1.60 in February 2010, $2.30 in February 2009, and $2.40 in February 2008.
Incredibly, wholesale prices (as reported by Urner Barry through March) for domestic shrimp continue to increase. In March of 2010, 41/50 count brown headless, shell-on shrimp sold at a wholesale price of $2.67 per pound.
This March, the wholesale price for the same shrimp is $5.92. In March 2010, 41/50 count domestic white headless, shell-on shrimp sold at a wholesale price of $2.90 per pound. This March, the wholesale price for the same shrimp is $5.93.
In contrast, wholesale prices for imported shrimp are steady at levels well below domestic prices. The wholesale price for 41/50 count Central American white headless, shell-on shrimp is $5.37 right now (down slightly from $5.40 last month); for 41/50 Asian white headless, shell-on shrimp, the wholesale price is $5.30 right now (up slightly from $5.29 last month).