97% of total sales are concentrated in four states
According to the latest report released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), US catfish producers had sales worth $421 million during 2021, up 12 percent from $377 million the previous year. Of these, up to 97 percent of total sales in the country are concentrated in four states: Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas.
Not the same for sales of Stockers totaled $6.59 million in 2021, up from $6.70 million in 2020, or sales of fry and fingerlings totaled $13.6 million, down 11% from 2020. There was a drop by point of first sale too. Direct sales to processors accounted for 92.6 percent of total foodsize fish sales, that means a down 1.8 percent from the previous year.
Prospects for 2022
Last year’s good sales figures were achieved despite water surface acres dedicated to catfish production, down 3% from January 1, 2021 (58,310 acres versus 60,105 acres in 2020). However, 2,240 will be renovated during the first half of 2022 and an additional 270 acres are expected to be under construction during the same period.
Regarding inventory, as of January 1, 2022, catfish producers had 730 thousand broodfish on hand, up 14 percent from January 1, 2021. Large foodsize fish on hand totaled 4.16 million, down 25 percent from a year ago. Medium foodsize fish was down 6 percent to 44.2 million, while small foodsize fish inventory was down 6 percent at 97.8 million.
For its part, large stockers on hand January 1, 2022, at 118 million fish, were up 1 percent from the previous year. Small stocker inventory was down 4 percent to 188 million, but there were 284 million fingerlings on hand, up 28 percent from January 1, 2021.