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Aquaculture Imports Increased – Exports Dropped in 2014

Final results from the Bureau of Census’ Aquaculture recorded an overall increase of selected fish and shellfish products imports while exports declined for 2014. Imports overall increased 7% in volume and 19% in dollar for 2014. About 2.64 billion-lbs. were imported compared with 2.48 billion-lbs. in 2013. The total cost was about $11.42 billion, up from $9.57 billion in 2013.

Frozen shrimp drove the volume increase, up 13% to 988.3 million–lbs. from 2013’s 871.7 million-lbs. On the dollar value side, two categories of shrimp, tilapia and Atlantic salmon were each over a billion dollars. Atlantic frozen salmon fillets jumped 22% to $1.77 billion dollars on 6.9 million-lbs. sold. Frozen shrimp, the top import by dollar, increased 27% to $5.28 billion on 988.3 million-lbs., while fresh and prepared shrimp gained 22% to $1.41 billion on 265.1 million-lbs. Tilapia, which sold 508.7 million-lbs. for the year, increased by 8% to $1.11 billion for 2014.

Exports overall decreased 10% in volume and 3% in dollar value in a year-to-date comparison ending Dec. 31. About 511.8 million-lbs. were exported compared with 571.6 million-lbs. in 2013. The total cost was about $1.20 billion, down from $1.24 billion in 2013.

The category that drove the decrease was the largest sector, frozen pacific salmon, down 14% in volume, to 311.0 million lbs., and 2% in cost, to $477.7 million. Atlantic fresh salmon had the largest percentage drop in cost, 30%, to $36.5 million from $52.2 million and the largest percentage drop of 28% to 11.2 million-lbs., down from 15.6 million-lbs.