EXPORTS of Icelandic cod so far this year, along with prices, are continuing to rise, the latest Marko Partners Seafood Intelligence Report shows.
Prices were up by 5.4 per cent over the period, with the United Kingdom, Spain and France remaining the largest markets.
These three countries take almost two thirds of Iceland’s total cod exports, but there are signs that things may be changing.
The figures also show a new trend with a strong increase in cod shipments to Spain, which now accounts for 37.4 per cent of exports. As would be expected the biggest share is in frozen cod fillets, especially salted fish.
This has more than doubled to just over 3,000 tonnes a year. Interestingly exports to the UK declined by almost 10 per cent and were down by almost eight per cent to France.
It is possible that Iceland is now feeling the impact of a renewed Norwegian cod and haddock sales drive to these two countries; in the last 18 months Norway has been targeting Britain’s traditional fish and chip shops with a heavy promotional campaign.
However, Iceland is not on Russia’s list of food ban countries so buyers in Moscow and elsewhere are likely to turn to Reykjavik to make up for the supplies that will no longer be coming out of Norway.
The international cod picture is mixed with Iceland reporting lower sales to Portugal, which is having more than its share of economic problems.
However, it is continuing to look for new markets and cod sales to Switzerland and showing an impressive increase – up by 53 per cent.