Spain now fastest growing salmon market, says Seafood Council

fish and shellfish on counter in market

Spaniards, along with their Portuguese neighbours, are developing a taste for salmon faster than other people in Europe, the latest export data from the Norwegian Seafood Council showed this week.

No-one is quite sure why. Both countries have long been a popular market for Norwegian dried fish, but the increasing demand for salmon and, to a lesser extent, fresh farmed cod, is both dramatic and quite new.

It has been suggested that the early summer tourist surge is behind much of the increase, but northern European tourists have been flooding into the Iberian Peninsula at this time of year for decades, so there has to be more to it than that.

The Seafood Council believes that an increase in home consumption is probably the main reason. In other words Spaniards are developing a taste for the fish.

The figures published yesterday show that Spain had the largest increase of any country with an increase in value of 25% or NOK 163 million over the past 12 months. The May volume of 6,833 tonnes was 14% up on May last year.

The Norwegian Seafood Council’s envoy to Spain, Tore Holvik, says the development has been gratifying. And he thinks strong home consumption is behind much of the increase.

He adds: “As the tourists have returned, we see that the volume of salmon is also increasing in the restaurant segment. This is a trend that we believe will continue, so we are optimistic.”

After the Netherlands, Spain was also the second largest market for farmed cod which showed a volume growth of 55% to 274 tonnes.

In fact every third fresh cod now exported from Norway comes from aquaculture, says the Seafood Council.

The export value last month increased by 98% to 985 tonnes and the value by 128% to NOK 58 million (£4.3m)


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