NOAA recently released shrimp landings data from the Gulf of Mexico for the month of December and the full year of 2015.
In total, 8.5 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf last month, a slight drop from the 8.8 million pounds landed in December 2014 and 4.6% below the previous fifteen-year historical average for December landings (8.9 million pounds).
Although landings of shrimp in December were roughly on par with the historical average for the month, landings for the full year were significantly lower than the historical average. For the year, 106.9 million pounds of shrimp were landed in the Gulf of Mexico, the lowest total since 2010 and the third lowest total recorded over the last sixteen years. The harvest in 2015 was 18.6% below the previous fifteen-year historical average (131.2 million pounds).
The sharp decline in shrimp landed in the Gulf is primarily attributable to the drop in shrimp landed in Louisiana. The 45.3 million pounds of shrimp landed in 2015 was the second lowest volume of shrimp landed in the state since 2000, with only 2010 as a poorer year. Louisiana’s harvest last year was 29.8% below the prior fifteen-year historical average (64.6 million pounds).
Texas also had a down year, but the 38.0 million pounds of shrimp landed in the state was only 9.6% below the prior fifteen-year historic average (42.0 million pounds) and represented an increase from the shrimp landed in Texas in 2014 (33.1 million pounds).
In contrast to Louisiana and Texas, landings in Alabama for 2015 (13.0 million pounds) were 27.8% above the prior fifteen-year historic average (10.2 million pounds). Elevated landings in Alabama do not, however, account for the decline in Louisiana landings as the volume of shrimp landed in Alabama in 2015 was roughly the same in 2014, while landings in Louisiana fell from 57.4 million pounds in 2014 to 45.3 million pounds of shrimp in 2015.
Ex-vessel prices for all but the largest shrimp remained low as the year closed. NOAA reported ex-vessel prices for U15 count shrimp in December 2015 that were similar to those reported in December 2013 and 2014, equal to the highest ex-vessel prices reported for this size shrimp over the last seventeen years. But for smaller count sizes, where competition from imported shrimp is more concentrated, ex-vessel prices showed a massive drop from prices reported in December 2014. Ex-vessel prices for 26-30 count shrimp were lower than they had been reported since 2010, while ex-vessel prices for 41-50 count shrimp in December 2015 in the Western Gulf were the second lowest reported for that count size in the seventeen year period for which data are available from NOAA.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of December 2000-2015 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for December 1999-2015: