Though the shrimp season has started in some states, the forecast for this season is not looking great. The Texas Gulf season has historically opened in June but that date has been pushed back to July 15th and there is speculation that it will be pushed further back to the end of July. The reasoning is the same as last year: pushing the dates back will allow shrimp to grow so that larger sizes may be harvested. Right now shrimp prices are 25% higher than years past and, with a slow season projected for 2014, prices do not seem to be going in a favorable direction.
The foreign market is slowly coming on after months of silence as disease had devastated farmed stocks, but the lackluster rebounding performance of these imports has done nothing to soften prices of domestic shrimp. If anything, the demand for domestic wild shrimp has increased due to fears of foreign markets' rampant disease and less than savory farming practices. All I can say is that we are paying more than I have ever seen for wild domestic shrimp and, really, for all types of high quality shrimp.
I wish I was bringing good news of relief for the near future, but at the moment I don't expect there to be any major drop in shrimp prices before the month of August. Shrimp represents one of the most consumed seafood items in the American diet, so this issue is nothing slight. Margins are beginning to tighten on shrimp as wholesalers and retailers alike try to contend with just how far, or should I say how high, consumers will go to get their shrimp on the plate.