Catfish Processing Down 21 Percent from Last Year
Farm-raised catfish processed during March 2007 totaled 44.4 million pounds round weight, down 21 percent from March 2006. The average price paid to producers was 83.8 cents per pound for March 2007, unchanged from last month but 9.3 cents above a year ago.
Net pounds of processed fish sold during March 2007 totaled 22.8 million pounds, down 22 percent from the comparable month in 2006. The total end of the month inventory decreased 2 percent from last month but was up 58 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 8.56 million pounds, were down 24 percent from March 2006 and represented 37 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 14.3 million pounds, were down 21 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 58 percent, and the remaining 24 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.
The March 2007 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.54 per pound, up 26 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.70 per pound, up 16 cents from March 2006. Prices for fresh fillets were up 38 cents at $3.27 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.55 per pound, up 17 cents from March 2006. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 17 cents at $2.20 and frozen fillets at $3.11 per pound were up 36 cents from a year ago.
Freshwater imports of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for February 2007 totaled 7.58 million pounds, up significantly from the amount imported in February 2006. Imports were from China, China-Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 3.03 million pounds, which were all from China.
Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 69.1 thousand pounds, with 57.5 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest to the Cayman Islands and Mexico. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for February 2007 totaled 29.9 thousand pounds, which all went to Germany and Mexico.
Import and export data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.
To view the full report, including tables, please click here