Coronavirus affects Norwegian seafood exports

Shelllfish food restaurantNorwegian shellfish is in high demand by World Class restaurants. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council
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Fresh salmon exports to China have fallen by 31 per cent so far this year. The decline is attributed to the effects of the coronavirus.

“The biggest fall has been in the last three weeks. In terms of value.  However, the decline has been lower, 1 per cent, due to high prices at the beginning of the year,“ said Victoria Braathen, the Seafood Council’s fisheries envoy to China.

After the Chinese New Year, residents of the country have been encouraged to stay home due to the virus outbreak.

“Shanghai Port reported full freezing stores on Thursday and it was urged that the goods be shipped to other ports. For frozen fish, Qingdao is the most important port. Here it is reported that things are going more or less as normal,“ explained Braathen.

Salmon for other markets
Norwegian exports of fresh salmon in total so far this year show a decrease in volume of 5 per cent, while the value has increased by 12 per cent.

“As a result of lower exports of fresh salmon to China, there is more available salmon for other markets, such as the United States, South Korea and Taiwan, which in turn leads to a reduction in price,” she said.

Seafood analyst Paul Aandahl in the Seafood Council stated that despite this, the price is over 20 per cent higher so far this year compared to the same period last year.

“The biggest price effect we will see in the short term. In the long term, global demand growth will exceed the temporary negative impact,“ predicted Aandahl.

The effects of the virus have also hit the construction of the billion dollar-concept of Nordlaks’ Havfarmen. The company postponed the trip to China for employees who will work on the large farming module.

The farm is far from the epicenter of the virus outbreak, but it nevertheless affected its construction. Quarantine regulations from the Chinese authorities make it challenging for the construction yard to get the it fully operational after the Chinese New Year celebrations.

“The holiday was extended to February 9. Then there have been some measures from the Chinese authorities that people traveling back from vacation must be quarantined for fourteen days before they can go back to work. This makes it more difficult for the yard to scale up the work after the holidays,” said communications manager Lars Fredrik Martinussen in Nordlaks to IntraFish.

Nordlaks will build two sea farms, each of which has the shape of a ship when cured from above. The first will be located in Hadsel in Vesterålen, the second will be outside Hamarøy.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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