Norwegian trout exports are soaring, as the American consumer discovers “Fjord Trout”.
Demand for Norwegian salmon has been stimulated by, among other things, lower supermarket prices in the first eight weeks of 2018. Norwegian exports of farmed salmon are up 11 percent year-on-year in those first two months.
Yet, that’s peanuts compared to the spike in trout sales, judging by new numbers from Statistics Norway and the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Exports of salmon’s farmed cousin are up a formidable 46 percent this year over the same two months a year ago. So far, Norwegian fish famers have exported 3,756 tonnes of head-on fresh trout (versus 2,569 t for the same 2017 period).
Processing and distribution nation, Poland, has been trout’s biggest patron. The Poles have secured for themselves 648 t of trout so far this year.
The U.S. market is growing fastest. American fish importers have procured 511 t of airborne trout. That’s almost triple last year’s count.
A central reason for the sales volume increase is lower trout prices. The average price (at least for tout out of Norway) so far this year is EUR 6.00 per kilogram. The price last year was EUR 7.50.
Higher trout sales in the first two months have made useful inroads into fish stores. According to Akvafakta, the Norwegian trout biomass count has shrunk and at the end of January 2018 stands at 31,000 t.
In taste and appearance, farmed trout and farmed salmon are fairly similar. Pricewise, the two species have over time shown a high degree of correlation: In the Russian and Japanese markets, they’re near-substitutes for one another.