Volume of Landed Shrimp Declines as Shrimp Prices Collapse in January

Last Thursday, the Fishery Monitoring Branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center released preliminary shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic for January 2023.

Since July of 2021, NOAA’s reporting makes substantial revisions to now reflect final totals for past years rather than the preliminary numbers initially reported. Because NOAA’s reporting for January 2023 remains preliminary in nature, the Southern Shrimp Alliance continues to use the agency’s preliminary figures that were originally reported. This means that in the summary charts prepared by the Southern Shrimp Alliance, the historical figures for the month of January in 2019, 2020, and 2021 do not correspond to the numbers released by NOAA last week. Where revised figures are used in the charts, that year is marked with an asterisk.

The preliminary data indicates that roughly 4.3 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf and South Atlantic in January 2023, down from 6.6 million pounds in January of 2022.

In the Gulf of Mexico, 3.6 million pounds of shrimp were landed in January, 8.4 percent below the prior 21-year historic average. In the South Atlantic, 0.7 million pounds of shrimp were landed, 45.0 percent below the prior 4-year historic average, although no landings were reported in either Georgia or South Carolina.

On its own, Louisiana accounted for 41.7 percent of all landings of warmwater shrimp in the United States in January, with shrimp volumes reported to be 1.5 percent above the prior 21-year historic average. Alabama accounted for 19.4 percent of the landed warmwater shrimp volume, which was 76.6 percent above that state’s prior 21-year historic average. However, across all other states, landings were substantially down compared to previous Januarys.

NOAA has revised its reporting of ex-vessel prices, such that the agency no longer reports ex-vessel prices for three different areas of the Gulf of Mexico (Western, Northern, and Eastern). Instead, NOAA now reports a single ex-vessel price for the entirety of Gulf of Mexico and, separately, a single ex-vessel price for the South Atlantic. As the result of the simplification of NOAA’s reporting, the Southern Shrimp Alliance now tracks and summarizes prices for all count sizes used by the agency (U15, 15/20, 21/25, 26/30, 31/35, 36/40, and 41/50). 

A review of the ex-vessel pricing data from NOAA indicates that in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic, ex-vessel prices for all count sizes, except U15 shrimp, were reported to be at their lowest levels since at least 2019. For some count sizes, prices were massively below prior years, as 31/35 count size shrimp fell from $4.37 per pound in the Gulf of Mexico in January 2022 to $2.89 in January 2023, while in the South Atlantic, prices for 31/35 count size shrimp plummeted from $3.82 per pound in January 2022 to $1.41 in January 2023. Similarly, for 36/40 count size shrimp, the ex-vessel price in the Gulf was $3.82 in January 2022, but just $2.68 in January 2023. In the South Atlantic, it was $2.82 per pound in January 2022, but just $1.24 in January 2023.

Please click the following link to view the Southern Shrimp Alliance’s compilation and summary of January 2002-2023 shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico, January 2019-2023 shrimp landings in the South Atlantic, and ex-vessel prices in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic for January 2019-2023:

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