Mar­kets up­date

China be­gins to recover but French and US mar­kets nose­dive

Fish Farmer - - Contents -

NOR­WE­GIAN ex­ports of fresh sal­mon to the UK in­creased by 27 per cent in the last week of March, ac­cord­ing to the Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil. And in the run up to Easter, ex­ports to other Euro­pean coun­tries in­clud­ing Swe­den and Fin­land ‘ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions’.

Nor­way is prov­ing it­self highly adapt­able in the on­go­ing sit­u­a­tion, al­though the clo­sure of the restau­rant seg­ment glob­ally re­mains the big­gest chal­lenge, said the Seafood Coun­cil on April 1, up­dat­ing a reg­u­lar coro­n­avirus bul­letin on its web­site.

De­spite con­sid­er­able un­cer­tainty re­lated to fu­ture de­mand and lo­gis­tics, there was a grad­ual nor­mal­i­sa­tion in Asian coun­tries such as China and South Korea.

Paul Aan­dahl, seafood an­a­lyst at the Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil, said: ‘As in pre­vi­ous weeks, we are see­ing a con­tin­ued re­duc­tion for fresh seafood and an in­crease in frozen and con­ven­tional prod­ucts.

‘Easter sales are about to start in earnest and fresh sal­mon ex­ports to the UK and Swe­den in­creased by 27 per cent and 52 per cent re­spec­tively last week.

‘The weak Nor­we­gian krone con­tin­ues to com­pen­sate for re­duced de­mand. In week 13, we see a 22 per cent re­duc­tion in the value of NOK against the euro and 27 per cent mea­sured against the US dol­lar.

‘While the ex­port price to the EU for fresh whole sal­mon fell by 10 per cent in NOK, the price mea­sured in euro was 27 per cent lower than last year.’

There was an over­all de­crease of 10 per cent in fresh whole sal­mon ex­ports, but ex­ports of fresh sal­mon fil­let in­creased by five per cent and frozen fil­let ex­ports in­creased by 64 per cent.

The av­er­age ex­port price for fresh whole sal­mon de­creased by nine per cent to NOK 58.99 in week 13 (be­gin­ning March 23).

While ex­ports to Asia de­creased by eight per cent, there were some more buoy­ant mar­kets, with South Korea im­port­ing 13 per cent more, and Tai­wan in­creas­ing its sal­mon im­ports from Nor­way by 40 per cent.

Vic­to­ria Braa­then, the Seafood Coun­cil’s coun­try di­rec­tor in China, said there were grad­ual steps to­wards ‘a more nor­malised ev­ery­day life’.

‘There has been a steady growth in sal­mon ex­ports to China, from 10 tonnes in week five to 519 tonnes in week 13. How­ever, it is still 18 per cent less than the same week last year,’ she added.

The EU mar­ket, pre­dom­i­nantly a fresh mar­ket

We ex­pect the chal­lenges re­lat­ing to lo­gis­tics and re­duced de­mand to con­tinue in me” the US for some ti

for Nor­we­gian sal­mon, saw ex­ports down five per cent. Ex­ports of fresh sal­mon de­creased by six per cent, while ex­ports of frozen sal­mon in­creased by 51 per cent.

There was an in­crease in sal­mon ex­ports to sev­eral in­di­vid­ual mar­kets in Europe – Swe­den, the UK and Fin­land (up 34 per cent) in­cluded – but the French mar­ket con­tin­ued to de­cline, with the ex­port of fresh whole sal­mon falling 31 per cent.

‘Home con­sump­tion in France does not com­pen­sate for the clo­sure of the restau­rant mar­ket,’ said Trine Horne, the Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil’s coun­try di­rec­tor in France.

‘Ex­ports of sal­mon fil­let to France de­creased by 58 per cent in week 13 com­pared to the same week last year.’

Mean­while, ex­ports of fresh whole sal­mon to the US con­tin­ued to fall as a re­sult of the sharp re­duc­tion in trans­port ca­pac­ity.

Egil Ove Sund­heim, the Seafood Coun­cil’s coun­try di­rec­tor in the United States, said: ‘In week 13, ex­ports of fresh whole sal­mon to the United States fell by 94 per cent. This is also due to large parts of the restau­rant mar­ket in the US hav­ing closed for busi­ness.

‘For fresh sal­mon fil­let, the de­crease was 41 per cent in week 13. We ex­pect the chal­lenges re­lat­ing to lo­gis­tics and re­duced de­mand to con­tinue here in the US for some time.’

WITH air travel bans in place, sal­mon farm­ing com­pa­nies in Nor­way are find­ing al­ter­na­tive ways of get­ting their prod­uct to mar­ket.

And one op­tion has been to use pas­sen­ger air­craft de­void of pas­sen­gers, but which are equipped with cargo car­ry­ing holds and pal­lets, even if it means charg­ing ex­tra for sal­mon to cover the ex­tra costs.

In nor­mal times, sal­mon is of­ten flown in the cargo com­part­ments of pas­sen­ger planes, for ex­am­ple, from Oslo to the US and Asia and from Heathrow to global mar­kets.

Ac­cord­ing to the Oslo fi­nan­cial jour­nal Fi­nansavisen, the ploy to use empty air­craft has been adopted by Firda Seafood, one of the coun­try’s largest sal­mon pro­duc­ers, with a turnover of more than a bil­lion kro­ner.

Its founder and CEO, Ola Braanaas, told Fi­nansavisen: ‘Yes, it does in­volve ex­tra costs, but at the same time the mar­ket wants fish.

‘Our im­pres­sion is that cus­tomers are pre­pared to ac­cept a price in­crease, as long as we (the pro­duc­ers) share some of the added costs in­volved us­ing this method.’

Avi­nor, the Nor­we­gian air­port op­er­a­tor, said Firda Seafood was not alone in us­ing this al­ter­na­tive, but Martin Lan­gaaas, Avi­nor’s di­rec­tor of air cargo, added that ca­pac­ity was lim­ited as more air­lines and air freight busi­nesses de­cided to ground their fleets.

He said de­mand for air freight space had in­creased sharply and so had the cost and this needed to be cov­ered.

A spokesman for ParcelHero said freight rates for fresh foods have in­creased no­tably in re­cent weeks as ca­pac­ity has re­duced.

‘Between 45 and 50 per cent of the world’s air cargo is usu­ally trans­ported in the belly of pas­sen­ger air­craft; but the ma­jor­ity of US pas­sen­ger ser­vices have been sus­pended – it has not been pos­si­ble for most Bri­tish na­tion­als to en­ter the USA since March 16. That means a sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced amount of cargo space is avail­able to the USA.

‘In an ef­fort to ease de­mand and re­coup some of the money pas­sen­ger air­lines are now haem­or­rhag­ing, a long list of air­lines, in­clud­ing BA, Delta, Cathay and Amer­i­can Air­lines, are in­tro­duc­ing what are be­ing termed ‘pas­sen­ger freighter’ ser­vices.’

The boss of Bri­tish Air­ways own­ers IAG, Wil­lie Walsh, said: ‘Our in­ten­tion is to try and keep as much of our ca­pac­ity avail­able for crit­i­cal sup­plies that need to be shipped around the world.

‘We may op­er­ate some of our pas­sen­ger air­craft just for belly-hold cargo to en­sure we keep crit­i­cal sup­plies mov­ing.’

ParcelHero said other air­lines, such as Delta, are al­ready op­er­at­ing mail ser­vices from Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions to the US us­ing idled pas­sen­ger air­craft; its Air­bus A350s can carry 49 tonnes in their hold.

‘And Lufthansa has gone one bet­ter,’ said a spokesman. ‘It’s cos­set­ing cargo not only in the hold, but on seats.

‘Lufthansa loaded an Air­bus A330 pas­sen­ger jet with highly ur­gent goods, mainly from the med­i­cal sec­tor, strapped to its seats, on a flight re­cently; and is plan­ning to op­er­ate more such flights.’

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