Shrimp Landing Volumes Once Again at Record Levels in March, With Sharp Divergence in Prices for Large and Small Shrimp

Shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for March 2016 has now been released by NOAA.
In total, 3.5 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf last month.  The Southern Shrimp Alliance has compiled landings data reported by NOAA back to 2001.  Just as with the landings data reported for the month of February, the volume of shrimp landed in the Gulf last month is the single largest for the month of March in that sixteen-year time period.  Overall, the total amount of shrimp landed for the month was 59.9% higher than the fifteen-year historical average (2.2 million pounds).
The reported increase in March landings resulted from an unprecedented amount of landings in Texas, totaling 1.8 million pounds of shrimp.  Since 2001, the largest amount of shrimp landed in Texas during the month of March was 1.4 million pounds in 2011.  Last month, landings in the state were more than double (118.4%) the previous fifteen-year historic average for the month.
But landings were also up throughout most of the Gulf.  Landings in the state of Louisiana were reported to be 0.7 million pounds, the second highest total reported for the month of March going back to 2001 (behind only the 0.9 million pounds landed in March 2012) and almost five times the volume reported in March 2015.  In total, landings last month in Louisiana were 58.6% above the prior fifteen-year historic average.
Similarly, landings in Alabama for March, totaling 0.5 million pounds, were the third highest recorded for the state since 2001.  This year marked the third straight year that landings in March increased for Alabama over the prior year and, in total, the landings last month were 76.0% above the prior fifteen-year historic average.
Over the first three months of the year, 10.4 million pounds of shrimp have been landed in the Gulf of Mexico, a total 14.1% higher than the previous fifteen-year historic average and the highest amount recorded since 2012.
The importance of these heightened values is limited.  The first quarter of the year accounts for only a small portion of annual Gulf shrimp landings (generally between 5% and 10%) and a review of historic data provides no correlation between the relative volume of shrimp landed between January and March and that landed for the entire year.
Meanwhile, NOAA reports that ex-vessel (dockside) prices for shrimp have continued to diverge between large and small shrimp.  Ex-vessel prices for U15 count shrimp remained consistent with prices reported last March and continued to be at historically high levels.  In contrast, ex-vessel prices for 41-50 count shrimp and 26-30 count shrimp were reported to be $1.54 per pound and $3.21 per pound, respectively, in the Western Gulf last month.  For both count sizes, these are the lowest ex-vessel prices reported for any March since 2010.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of March 2001-2016 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for the same time period:

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