Slim supply of shrimp sends prices soaring

A disease hitting the shrimp supply in Thailand, China and Vietnam is sending white shrimp prices to nearly $6 a pound.

That's a 56% increase from last year.

"We eat more Asian shrimp than we do of any other in the United States," Robert Thompson, a shrimper in Murrells Inlet said.

Thompson works at Seven Seas Seafood in Murrells Inlet.

"That is your #1 seller in the seafood market. If you're out of shrimp, you're out of seafood in a seafood market," Thompson said.

The costly crustacean is now hard to keep in-stock.

He said our high consumption of these shrimp usually means lower costs, but when disease strikes, prices spike.

Even our local shrimp supply is suffering this year.

Thompson said the rainy weather has spread them out across the Atlantic Ocean, which makes them harder to harvest along the southeastern United States.

"We try to be truthful to all our customers. We've got to sell imported shrimp. There's just no way that we could supply enough fresh local shrimp. We don't have the freezer facility here to put up enough even to go through the off season and in the ebb and flow of when we're catching shrimp," Thompson said.

If you're looking to fill the shrimp void, the average lobster tail is selling at its lowest price in 11 years.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off