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Cod, haddock sales flounder at UK retail

UK consumers are buying less as price increases seemingly take a toll.

The volume of cod and haddock sold in the UK retail market slipped during the 52-week period through Oct.6, but the value of the sales increased because of higher consumer prices for the fish, according to the latest figures from market research company Nielsen.

Overall sales of cod at UK retail climbed 3.5 percent to £412 million (€472.7 million/$539.5 million) during the period, up from £399 million (€457.8 million/$522.4 million) a year earlier.

However, the actual volume sold was down 1.9 percent at 47,597 metric tons.

The average price per kilo was up 5.4 percent over the period to £8.67 (€9.90/$11.40), and the average price per unit up 3.7 percent to £3.00 (€3.40/$3.90), said the figures.

Similarly, haddock sales were relatively flat over the period. In value, sales climbed just 1.6 percent to £209 million (€239.8 million/$273.7 million) while sales volume during the period dipped 0.2 percent to 20,197 metric tons.

The average price per kilo for haddock rose 1.7 percent to £10.34 (€11.90/$13.50). The per-unit price was up 1.3 percent to £3.18 (€3.70/$4.20).

For cod, the frozen segment made up the bulk of sales by far and were up 2.2 percent in value to £219.3 million (€251.6 million/$287.1 million). However, the volume of frozen cod sold 4 percent lower at 31,981 metric tons.

The price per kilo for frozen cod was up 6.4 percent to £6.86 (€7.90/$9) on average, and the price per unit was up 4.6 percent to £2.76 (€3.20/$3.60).

Sales of chilled cod, however, bucked the trend and rose 4.9 percent to £192.6 million (€221 million/$252.2 million) with volumes also up by 2.6 percent to 15,567 metric tons.

Prices for chilled cod were also up, but not quite as much, with the price per kilo hitting £12.37 (€14.2/$16.2) and price per unit reaching £3.32 (€3.8/$4.3), both up 2.2 percent, respectively.

After salmon, cod is the most popular species in the UK retail market, both in value and volume terms.

Unlike cod, chilled haddock sales make up the bulk of sales of the species at £147.5 million (€169.2 million/$193.1 million) - up 1.7 percent on a year earlier -- and volumes reached 12,207 metric tons -- up 1.8 percent.

The price per kilo for chilled haddock was £12.09 (€13.90/$15.80), fairly flat from a year ago, and the price per unit was up 1.6 percent to £3.21 (€3.70/$4.20).

Meanwhile, frozen haddock sales amounted to £61.4 million (€70.5 million/$80.4 million), up 1.4 percent, but volumes were down 3.1 percent to 7,990 metric tons.

For frozen haddock, the price per kilo was up 4.6 percent to £7.68 (€8.80/$10.10), while the price per unit was flat at £3.13 (€3.60/$4.10). Haddock is the fifth most popular species sold at UK retail.

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