Exporters moving fish across the Atlantic: US imports from Norway ratchet up

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Limited supplies from Chile are seeing the United States turn to Norway to get salmon.

US fish importers are stepping up the import of Norwegian farmed salmon. So far this year, imports have risen by 25 per cent. In the first 30 weeks of the year, the United States has imported 10,077 tonnes of fresh Norwegian salmon, according to export statistics from Norway’s Seafood Council.

Changes trade flows
However, at the same time, Norway’s salmon exports have fallen compared to the same period in 2016. So far this year, total salmon exports have dropped by 1.9 per cent, according to Akvafakta.

This means that some countries are reducing their purchases.

In particular, the larger purchasers – France and the UK –  have reduced imports of Norwegian salmon – by 13 and 27 per cent respectively.

Fillets
The salmon is exported without head or tail, as American demand is for processed products: fresh fillets. No other country has bought more Norwegian salmon fillets than the US this year.

But the increase in demand is not limited to salmon.

Trout
The Americans have also developed a taste for Norwegian rainbow trout over the last two or three years. Only Poland has imported more Norwegian trout than the United States in the first seven months of this year. 1,043 tonnes of fresh trout has been imported, in a market characterized by tight supply and high prices.

While the salmon was exported for an average price of USD 7.91 last week, trout went for USD 9.06 per kilo.