Catfish Production: Value of Sales Down, Water Surface Acres Up

    Catfish Ponds. Photo: LSU AgCenter

    Catfish Value of Sales Down 2 percent from 2016

    Catfish growers in the United States had sales of 380 million dollars during 2017, down 2 percent from 386 million dollars the previous year. The top four States (Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas) accounted for 96 percent of the United States total sales.

    The United States total foodsize sales of 355 million dollars decreased by 2 percent from the previous year. Sales of stockers totaled 4.50 million dollars in 2017, compared to 5.48 million dollars in 2016. Fingerling and fry sales totaled 18.7 million dollars, up 1.80 million dollars from 2016.

    By point of first sale, direct sales to processors accounted for 96.4 percent of total foodsize fish sales, up 2 percent from the previous year. Direct sales to other producers accounted for 62.5 percent of stocker sales compared to 78.0 percent in 2016.

    Water Surface Acres Up 2 Percent from January 1, 2017

    The water surface acres being used for catfish production as of January 1, 2018, totaled 61.9 thousand acres, up 2 percent from the 60.8 thousand acres used a year earlier. Of the total acres, 3.62 thousand are to be renovated during the period of January 1 to June 30, 2018. An additional 390 acres are under construction or expected to be constructed and in use by July 1, 2018.

    During the period of July 1 through December 31, 2017, the area taken out of production totaled 890 acres. As of January 1, 2018, foodsize fish were produced on 48.8 thousand acres, fingerling producing acres totaled 8.40 thousand, and 1.94 thousand acres were being used for broodfish production.

    Inventory Numbers

    Catfish producers had 670 thousand broodfish on hand January 1, 2018, up 13 percent from January 1, 2017. Large foodsize fish on hand totaled 4.43 million on January 1, 2018, up 18 percent from a year ago. The number of medium foodsize fish were down 2 percent to 53.2 million, while small foodsize fish numbers are up 27 percent to 93.8 million.

    Large stockers on hand January 1, 2018, at 115 million fish, were up 13 percent from the previous year. Small stocker numbers were up 17 percent to 242 million. There were 212 million fingerlings on hand January 1, 2018, down 21 percent from January 1, 2017.

    Full report.

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