Catfish Processing Down 18 Percent from Last Year
Farm-raised catfish processed during August 2007 totaled 42.6 million pounds round weight, down 18 percent from August 2006. This total is the lowest reported August round weight processed since August 1996 when 40.5 million pounds were processed. The average price paid to producers was 73.1 cents per pound for August 2007, down 3.1 cents from last month and 8.0 cents below a year ago.
Net pounds of processed fish sold during August 2007 totaled 21.8 million pounds, down 8 percent from the comparable month in 2006. The total end of the month inventory decreased 2 percent from last month but was up 12 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 7.55 million pounds, were down 5 percent from August 2006 and represented 35 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 14.2 million pounds, were down 10 percent from a year ago and accounted for the remaining 65 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 August 2007 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.43 per pound, down 11 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.70 per pound, down 4 cents from August 2006. Prices for fresh fillets were down 9 cents from a year ago at $3.08 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.34 per pound, down 20 cents from August 2006. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were down 2 cents at $2.16 and frozen fillets at $2.80 per pound were down 22 cents from a year ago.
Freshwater imports of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for July 2007 totaled 5.72 million pounds, up 9 percent from the amount imported in July 2006. Imports were from Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 401 thousand pounds, which were from Canada, China, and Ecuador.
Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 117 thousand pounds, with 69.2 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest to the Netherlands. No exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets were reported for July 2007.
Import and export data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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