Shrimp costs rise with Gulf oil spill

The Gulf Coast shrimp industry is practically out of commission, which means reduced supply and higher costs for shrimp.

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Barry Fronek, a Medford seafood broker, says that the oil disaster in the Gulf Coast will mean a rise in shrimp costs, as he and other brokers will need to look elsewhere.

Wild shrimp will be completely unavailable due to the spill and a U.S. regulatory moratorium on Mexican shrimp imports, so the options are limited to farm-produced shrimp from countries such as Ecuador and Bangladesh.

The typical No. 1 size shrimp — 16 to 20 shrimp per pound — consumed at restaurants were selling at wholesale for about $4.90 on the eve of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion April 20 that triggered the flow.

“It’s close to $6.70 right now at wholesale and will probably cap around $7.50,” he said. “I think that will hold through the Christmas. Our economy is the thing that might hold the prices back a little from where it should go. Europe and Japan are still buying really strong. You hear about Europe falling apart (economically) and they are consuming as much seafood as the U.S.”

Read more at the Mail Tribune.

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