”In August, export prices fell by around NOK 8. Demand for Norwegian salmon is still high and export volumes have increased. We also see that the trout is strengthening its position in several markets”, says communications director Geir Håvard Hanssen with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
According to analyst Paul Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council the inflation in salmon prices has not yet fully impacted consumers.
”Despite the high export price, consumers in Europe are continuing to buy Norwegian salmon. However, we are seeing a change in the consumption pattern of consumers, who are now buying salmon more often, but in smaller quantities” says Aandahl.
The fastest price rises are for fresh ”low process” premium salmon products. Whilst the wholesale market is experiencing inflation, consumer prices are only rising slowly. This is mainly due to the widespread use of forward contracts, especially in processed products. Over the longer term these wholesale price increases will start to be transferred to consumers. Then the market will show how far consumers are willing to stretch, to keep salmon on their dinner plates, says Aandahl.
New trout markets
Russia has for a long period been the most important market for Norwegian trout. The Norwegian seafood industry therefore faced significant challenges when this market was closed as a result of a complete import stop in 2014. Since the market closure, exporters have made considerable efforts to find new trout markets.
”Norwegian trout fell in price with the closure of the Russian market, which meant that exporters had to go through a demanding turnaround. Today we see that Norwegian trout exporters have successfully entered new markets in Europe, USA and Asia. Furthermore, we can also see that prices have risen. Now Norwegian trout exporters are reaping the rewards for the effective marketing investments they have made in these new markets in recent years”, says Hanssen.
August proved to be a good month for Norwegian seafood exports generally. Despite declines in demand for clipfish, herring and mackerel, the value of seafood exports still rose by NOK 1.7 billion compared with August 2015.
”We have seen a 32 per cent increase in export values compared to august last year. This development is positive for fresh and frozen cod, and not least for salted fish. Here we have seen a 94 per cent year-on-year increase in export value for August”, says Hanssen.
Towards a new record?
Year to date the export value for Norwegian seafood has reached NOK 56,3 billion, and 2016 looks set to contribute to a new record year for Norwegian seafood exports.
”Our combined export values for the whole of 2015 were NOK 74.5 billion, a record in itself. If we can maintain momentum, we should be set to break the 2015 record by a decent margin” says Hanssen.