NORWAY CONCERNED ABOUT POTENTIAL DECLINE IN EU SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION
Norway concerned about potential decline in EU seafood consumption. The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) says its biggest immediate challenge in light of evolving coronavirus situation is a potential reduction in seafood consumption in European markets.
In its latest update report, it says the EU is the largest and most important region for Norwegian seafood exports. In 2019 Norway exported 1,6 million tons of seafood to the EU, valued at 68 bn NOK. This represents 59 percent of total seafood exports in volume, and 63 percent of the value.
Paul T Aandahl, seafood analyst at NSC, said: “As many countries in Europe have imposed strict measures to prevent spread of the Covid-19 virus, we’ve seen a large part of the restaurant market disappear. There is a shift towards retail and home consumption of seafood. Several of the Norwegian Seafood Council’s representatives in the markets are reporting on at times empty seafood shelves in the supermarkets.
“However, the biggest challenge for Norwegian seafood going forward will be a possible reduction in consumption in European markets. We know that 30 percent of European salmon consumption happens in restaurants, hotels and catering. For Norwegian salmon this segment stands for 24 percent of total consumption.
“In addition, reduction in available air freight routes to overseas markets, could lead to fewer opportunities for sending fresh fish from Europe to Asia and the US. It is hard to predict how much fresh fish will go to these regions, as the fish competes for the limited capacity with other goods, such as machine parts and medical equipment.
“On the positive, we do see gradual steps towards normalisation of exports to China.”