November salmon sales up, revenue down

NORWAY’S salmon farmers continued to export larger volumes in November, but received less revenue for their efforts, the latest monthly figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council show.

Overseas sales last month rose by 11 per cent to 103,000 tonnes but the value fell by five per cent or NOK 291 million to NOK 5.7 billion.

And the reason is the sharp drop in prices which started to become evident over the summer.

The average price for whole fresh salmon in November was NOK 50.68 per kilo against NOK 61.71 last year.

Poland and France again remained the largest markets, although the Norwegian press is reporting that both the French and Polish markets are beginning to slow down, with Polish processors reducing their imports this year.

On the plus side exports to China are now at their highest level for at least two years.

So far this year, Norway has exported 909,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 59 billion. This is a volume increase of two per cent, while the value increased by seven per cent or NOK 4 billion from the same period last year.

Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, director of Market Insight at the Seafood Council, said: ‘Despite the fact that the price of salmon continues to decline, we expect that the total export value for Norwegian seafood in 2017 will pass the 2016 figure by a good margin. The explanation is the increased volume of salmon and a still relatively high price level.’

Sigmund Bjørgo, at the council’s fisheries mission in China, added: ‘Norwegian salmon is now going to the main (Chinese) destinations of Beijing and Shanghai, and importers are reporting simpler regulatory processes.

‘This is a big and happy step towards the normalisation of salmon exports to China.’

But Paul T. Aandahl, analyst at the Seafood Council said he expects a weaker December monthly figure over 2016 partly due to continued consumer reaction against high salmon prices.

‘This is especially true with smoked salmon, where in important markets like Germany and France there is less volume demand than this time last year.’

There was, however, better news for trout farmers during November with exports totalling 5,600 tonnes worth NOK 328 million.

This is a volume increase of 36 per cent or 1,400 tonnes and a 13 per cent increase or 37 per cent on last November.

So far this year, Norway has exported 35,200 tonnes of trout for NOK 2.6 billion. There is a volume decline of 45 percent or 29,100 tonnes and a decline of 28 percent or NOK 1 billion on 2016.

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