Strong uptake in salmon exports to the East: “Asia seems to be back to normal”

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Managing Director Sverre Søraa from exporter Coast Seafood noticed an upswing in the market for “fish by air”.

The exporter has obviously affected by the corona effect like everyone else. But the market for air-freighted fresh salmon is beginning to brighten.

“There may be a total decline of about 20 per cent in overseas markets. Asia seems to be back to normal. China, Korea and Hong Kong are back to old high numbers. Here there is really light at the end of the tunnel,” Sverre Søraa told Fjordenes Tidende.

Rise
In week 14, a total of 830 tonnes of fresh air-packed salmon went from Norway to China, according to export statistics from the Norwegian Seafood Council. The figures include Hong Kong, which is its own customs region. China exports were 104 tonnes higher than the same week in 2019.

South Korea also imported more Norwegian salmon this week than the corresponding week last year. Here the figures were 418 against 401 tonnes.

But not all aviation markets look the same.

“The US seems to be closed down than other markets. In addition to the fact that there are now restrictions on air cargo, the US market is a bit special, since salmon that goes to the restaurant market accounts for almost 50 per cent of exports. Not many people are out there eating salmon at American restaurants now,” Søraa added.

Flat
The United States imported 64 tonnes of fresh Norwegian salmon via air cargo in week 14. This corresponded to the volume of just over three semi-trailers loaded with fish.

In the same week in 2019, the United States imported 227 tonnes of airborne salmon from Norway for comparison, export statistics show.

However, the overall volume does not show such major changes – despite the virus effect. So far this year, Norway has actually exported as much salmon as at the same time last year – by 304,005 tonnes against 303,776 tonnes (converted to round weight) the year before.