Chinese demand for salmon on the rise, says Seafood Council

The global market for salmon and other seafood could be changing, with increasing demand in Asia, the latest data from the Norwegian Seafood Council suggests.

The Seafood Council’s CEO Christian Chramer said in his latest monthly report that while Europe clearly remains the largest single market for Norway’s seafood, there were signs of a shift in demand to other parts of the world.

Europe takes 68% of Norway’s seafood overall exports, Asia 21% and North America 9%.

But Chramer added: “We are seeing a shift in total Norwegian seafood exports from Europe to overseas markets such as Asia and North America. In May, we have never had a lower European value share [comparing May year on year] than this year.”

Seafood analyst Paul T. Aandahl added: “China had the greatest value growth in May, with an increase in value of NOK 218m (£16m) or 83% on the same period last year.”

The Seafood Council also reports that demand for salmon in China is on the rise, ending at 3,297 tonnes or 86% up on a year ago.

But as the Seafood Council’s China Director Andreas Thorud points out, May 2022 was affected by a full shutdown in Shanghai and a great deal of uncertainty in the market due to Covid uncertainty in China at the time.

“Since the turn of the year, the re-opening in China has created a strong demand for salmon that has persisted,” Thorud added.

The strongest Chinese demand also appears to be coming from the hotel, restaurant and canteen (HORECA) sector, but the grocery trade was also on the rise and there is growing demand for salmon outside the large cities.

And a similar growth pattern is emerging in other Asian markets such as Korea and Thailand, the report suggests.

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