Iceland salmon exports hitting new records

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The export value of aquaculture products from Iceland is continuing to soar, according to the latest official data.

Preliminary figures show it hit ISK 5 billion or just over £30m in September. The value for the first nine months of 2022 (January-September) reached a record ISK 33.4bn (£180m).

This represents a 22% increase on the same period last year and is somewhat higher at 29%, if exchange rates are taken into account.

As in previous months, the bulk of the increase is due to the surge in salmon farming, a sector in which Iceland has enjoyed the benefits from price increases. On average, salmon prices are up by around 30% and have reached historic highs in the past few months.

The share of salmon in the export value of farmed products as a whole was around 83% between January and August, compared to almost 77% in the same period last year. However, so too are the costs related to fish farming.

But is not such good news for another Icelandic farmed fish favourite, trout, which is normally better known as char.

Since the start of the year, the export value is down by 22% at constant exchange rates. While char prices have risen, the decline is largely due to the drop in export volumes.  The main market for this product is North America, where it is highly popular.

Fish farming in Iceland is currently in a state of flux with Arctic Fish changing hands from Norway Royal Salmon to Mowi. And, as in Norway, the issue of how the industry should be taxed is developing into a major issue.