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Which markets pay the most for Norwegian salmon?

The price difference between salmon above and below 6 kilograms is unusually high.

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Norwegian salmon exports to China have already surpassed the total of 12,000 metric tons achieved in 2018.

"Markets such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea prefer large salmon over 6 kilograms, so other producing countries such as Chile have increased their supply of large salmon to these markets," Tom-Jorgen Gangso, director of market insight and market access for the Norwegian Seafood Council, told IntraFish.

Export figures for August revealed the largest price difference between markets in history. The average price for the EU was NOK 52.43 (€5.30/$5.80), but the price for Asia was NOK 14.19 (€1.40/$1.60) higher and the price for North America NOK 16.47 (€1.70/$1.80) higher.

The greater depreciation of the krone against the dollar than the euro can account for this.

Top markets and big differences

South Korea paid the highest price for Norwegian salmon so far this year, purchasing over 14,000 metric tons at an average price of NOK 73.11 (€7.40/$8.20) per kilogram.

China is a close second with an average of NOK 70.79 (€7.20/$7.90) per kilogram. The next on the list are Hong Kong, the United States and Taiwan.

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These are all markets that prefer salmon over 6 kilogram, which has led to the price difference of salmon above and below 6 kilograms now exceeding NOK 14 (€1.40/$1.60) per kilogram, according to the latest Nasdaq Salmon Index.

Within the EU, large markets for Norwegian salmon such as the Netherlands and Italy have paid over NOK 63 (€6.40/$7) per kilogram for the salmon, while the two largest single markets, Poland and Denmark, have paid NOK 5 (€0.51/$0.56) less per kilogram.

Not a consumer preference

Given the high differences between size groups, the seafood council ran blind tests with Chinese consumers to see if consumers preferred salmon between 3 to 4 kilograms or 6 to 7 kilograms.

But the blind tests showed that consumers gave no clear preference for one or the other size, said Gangso.

"We must work with the opportunity to get more of the salmon sizes we have in Norway into these markets with great demand. In the long-term, more salmon can also go into more processed products, and then salmon of other sizes than the largest."

Ranking by price per kg up to and including week 35 (FOB prices Norwegian border)
Land kr / kg 2019 Volume 2019
South Korea 73,11 14180
China 70,79 16451
Hongkong 69,36 8864
USA 69,20 10309
Taiwan 69,11 7292
Japan 68,64 10524
Thailand 66,37 8126
Portugal 64,95 7186
Italy 63,17 39583
The Netherlands 63,09 40737
Germany 62,68 23445
France 61,79 53847
Sweden 61,78 13207
United Kingdom 61,67 36633
Spain 61,55 42163
Ukraine 59,52 7591
Lithuania 59,30 24788
Poland 58,72 92841
Denmark 58,13 62796
Finland 56,88 15925
Ranking by volume up to and including week 35 (FOB prices Norwegian border)
Land kr / kg 2019 Volume 2019
Poland 58,72 92841
Denmark 58,13 62796
France 61,79 53847
Spain 61,55 42163
The Netherlands 63,09 40737
Italy 63,17 39583
United Kingdom 61,67 36633
Lithuania 59,30 24788
Germany 62,68 23445
China 70,79 16451
Finland 56,88 15925
South Korea 73,11 14180
Sweden 61,78 13207
Japan 68,64 10524
USA 69,20 10309
Hongkong 69,36 8864
Thailand 66,37 8126
Ukraine 59,52 7591
Taiwan 69,11 7292
Portugal 64,95 7186

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