Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Catfish Processing in June Down 9 Percent from Last Year

Farm-raised catfish processed during June 2009 totaled 39.2 million pounds round weight, down 9 percent from June 2008. The average price paid to producers was 76.3 cents per pound for June 2009, up 0.1 cent from last month but 3.1 cents below a year ago.

Net pounds of processed fish sold during June 2009 totaled 19.0 million pounds, down 12 percent from the comparable month in 2008. The total end of the month inventory increased 2 percent from last month but was down 15 percent from a year ago. Sales of fresh fish, at 6.95 million pounds, were down 14 percent from June 2008 and represented 37 percent of total sales. Frozen fish sales, at 12.1 million pounds, were down 10 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 62 percent, and the remaining 21 percent were mostly steaks, nuggets, and value added products.

The June 2009 average price received by processors for total fresh fish was $2.47 per pound, down 5 cents from last year. Prices for fresh whole fish were $1.64 per pound, down 4 cents from June 2008. Prices for fresh fillets were up 14 cents from a year ago at $3.22 per pound. Total frozen fish averaged $2.53 per pound, up 7 cents from June 2008. Prices for frozen whole dressed fish were up 4 cents at $2.19 and frozen fillets at $2.91 per pound were down 1 cent from a year ago.

Freshwater imports for consumption of Ictalurus spp., Pangasius spp., and other catfish of the order Siluriformes for May 2009 totaled 11.6 million pounds, up 14 percent from the amount imported in May 2008. Imports were from Cambodia, China, Guyana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Ictalurus spp. imports totaled 1.66 million pounds, which were from China, Guyana, Mexico, Spain, and Thailand.

Fresh boneless catfish fillet exports totaled 79.1 thousand pounds, with 37.4 thousand pounds going to Canada and the rest going to China, the Turks & Caicos Islands and the United Kingdom. Exports of frozen, boneless catfish fillets reported for May 2009 totaled 14.2 thousand pounds, going to the Bahamas, China-Taipei, Guatemala, Kuwait, the Netherlands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Released July 20, 2009, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture. For information on "Catfish Processing" call Chris Hawthorn at (202) 720-0585, office hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

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