Shrimp Shortage Leads to Price Spike

As disease kills off shrimp stocks, prices hit nearly $6 per pound
Wikimedia/Frank C. Müller

In devastating news for all the remaining summer barbecues out there, shrimp have suddenly gotten a lot more expensive.

A disease has been killing off shrimp stocks and causing an "acute shrimp shortage" that has so far driven prices up to a record high of nearly $6 per pound, CNN reports.

American shrimp suppliers generate less than 10 percent of the shrimp eaten in the U.S., with most of the shrimp coming from Asia. The shrimp disease has apparently cut shrimp populations in half in Thailand, which produces 30 percent of the shrimp sold in the US. The other top shrimp producers, China and Vietnam, have also been affected.

"After a decade of explosive growth, the global farmed shrimp industry has reached a turning point," analysts said.

With shrimp prices more than half again as expensive as they were last year, it's a bit of a surprise to find that lobster prices are actually quite low. Higher water temperatures and fewer numbers of predators have caused lobster stocks to grow, and the current prices are the lowest in 11 years.

Every year Americans eat about four pounds of shrimp per person, but that number is expected to drop significantly this year due to the higher prices. If you do shell out for some of the surprisingly high-end shrimp, you'll want to do something special with them. Check out some of our best shrimp recipes for some good ideas.

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Of course, if you instead opt to try the suddenly less precious lobster, this is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of its lower price and get experimental with some servings besides the classic drawn butter. Check out some of our best lobster recipes for some creative variations.