NOAA has released landings data for shrimp harvested in the Gulf of Mexico for the month of April. These data show that shrimp landings in April were well above historic norms.
Throughout the Gulf, 5.3 million pounds of shrimp were reported as landed in April. This is over twice the fifteen-year historic average for the month (2.5 million pounds) and is far and away the most shrimp landed in an April over the last sixteen years. Prior to this year, the highest volume of shrimp reported as harvested in the Gulf in April was 3.8 million pounds in 2006.
So far this year, 15.7 million pounds of shrimp has been landed in the Gulf of Mexico, an amount 32 percent higher than the prior sixteen-year historical average of 11.8 million pounds. More shrimp has been landed in 2017 compared to the first four months of any year going back to 2001, setting a new high watermark above the 15.6 million pounds landed in 2006.
Only a small minority of shrimp landed during a year is harvested between January and April, with the first four months of each year accounting for anywhere between 7 and 14 percent of total annual landings. However, the last year that shrimp landings in the first third of the year exceeded 15 million pounds – in 2006 – the total volume of shrimp landed in the Gulf exceeded 160 million pounds. 2016, in comparison, was a disappointing production year with only 93.9 million pounds reported as landed through the year.
Landings for the first third of the year are uniformly above historical averages in every part of the Gulf. Louisiana’s 4.8 million pounds of shrimp in 2017 is 22 percent above the prior sixteen-year historical average of 4.0 million pounds and the highest volume recorded in the state since 2012. The 4.4 million pounds reported as landed in Texas is slightly below the 4.5 million pounds reported in the first four months of 2015, but is 9.1 percent above the prior sixteen-year historical average of 4.1 million pounds. Landings in the West Coast of Florida, at 2.8 million pounds in 2017, are the highest recorded since 2006 and 14.5 percent higher than the prior sixteen-year average of 2.4 million pounds. In Alabama, the reported 3.2 million pounds of shrimp landed in 2017 is the highest volume recorded for the state in the data compiled by the Southern Shrimp Alliance and 140 percent above the prior sixteen-year historical average of 1.3 million pounds. Even in Mississippi, the 418 thousand pounds of shrimp landed thus far this year is 20.4 higher than the prior fifteen-year historical average of 347 thousand pounds.
Although the volume of shrimp reported as landed has been unusually high, the dockside prices reported by NOAA have shown improvements compared to April 2016 across count sizes, with large increases reported in the Northern Gulf. For that region, ex-vessel prices for U15 count shrimp increased from $8.42 per pound in April 2016 to $9.37 per pound in April 2017; ex-vessel prices for 26-30 count shrimp jumped from $3.16 per pound in April 2016 to $4.50 per pound in April 2017; and ex-vessel prices for 41-50 count shrimp more than doubled from $1.12 per pound in April 2016 to $2.55 per pound in April 2017.
Please click the following link to view SSA’s compilation and summary of April 2001/2002-2017 Shrimp Landings and Ex-Vessel Prices for April 2001-2017: http://www.shrimpalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/April-2017-Landings.pdf