NOAA’s reporting for landings of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico for the month of March showed a slight decline in the volume of shrimp harvested this year (3.46 million pounds) compared to March of last year (3.51 million pounds). However, the amount of shrimp landed by fishermen in the Gulf last month was 52.1 percent higher than the prior sixteen-year historical average for the month (2.28 million pounds).
Similarly, while total shrimp landings in the region for the first quarter of this year (10.16 million pounds) were slightly below those of the first quarter of last year (10.42 million pounds), they were 10.3 percent above the prior sixteen-year historical average for the Gulf (9.21 million pounds).
In total, shrimp landings in the first quarter of the year are a small portion of annual harvests. Over the last fifteen years, shrimp landed in the first three months have comprised between five and eleven percent to the total amount of shrimp landed in the region.
Yet despite the relative lack of overall importance of first quarter landing figures, the data released by NOAA shows some interesting trends.
First, landings in 2017 have been spread more broadly amongst the states, with the exception of Mississippi. Texas (2.99 million pounds) has accounted for 29.4 percent of all shrimp landed in the Gulf so far in 2017, while Louisiana (2.61 million pounds) has claimed 25.7 percent of landed shrimp this year, Alabama (2.31 million pounds) comprised 22.7 percent of all landed shrimp, and the west coast of Florida (1.91 million pounds) has been responsible for 18.8 percent of landings.
Second, ex-vessel prices for small count sizes increased significantly in March compared to March of 2016. Ex-vessel prices for 41-50 count shrimp jumped from $1.74 per pound in March 2016 to $2.30 per pound last month in the Northern Gulf, from $1.71 per pound in March 2016 to $2.69 per pound in March 2017 on the west coast of Florida, and from $1.54 per pound in March 2016 to $3.11 per pound last month in the Western Gulf.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of March 2001-2017 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for March 2001-2017: