US boosts Norwegian salmon exports

HIGH salmon prices continued to drive up Norwegian seafood exports last month, the most recent figures show. Overseas sales totalled 165,000 tonnes, netting the country’s fish farmers and fishermen NOK 8.5 billion. Volumes were up by 12 per cent and the value by four per cent.

Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, analyst  at the Norwegian Seafood Council,  said: ‘With an average price of NOK 73.73 per kilo of fresh whole salmon, we experienced the highest monthly average price for salmon we have registered in May.’

He said the high prices were driven by strong demand from around the world, and the United States in particular, along with a still weak kroner when set against the euro.

May salmon exports hit 81,000 tonnes and were worth NOK 6.1 billion, almost 75 per cent of the country’s total seafood earnings. Salmon exports were up by NOK 851 million or 16 per cent compared to May last year. The average price per kilo has risen from NOK 69.76 to NOK 73.3 in the space of 12 months.

Once again, Poland, Denmark (both major processing countries) and France were the largest recipients of Norwegian salmon in May, but sales to the US are growing fast and were up by NOK 82 million or 24 per cent on May 2017.

Fisheries minister Per Sandberg said: ‘Americans are eating salmon like never before, and I think it is because salmon from Norway is known to be free from antibiotics and sustainable.

‘Growth in the United States shows the importance of the authorities and industry working together to achieve good market access. But we cannot rest on our laurels…ensuring good framework conditions for trade will be crucial to achieving growth in the future’

There was also good news for Norway’s trout farmers, with exports totalling 3,300 tonnes, worth NOK 316 million. The volume increased by 54 per cent, while the value rose by NOK 87 million or 38 per cent.

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