Salmon Export, 7 Reasons Why It’s Booming

Salmon Export

7 Reasons Why Salmon Export is Booming in 2024

Salmon is one of the most popular and nutritious fish in the world. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients. But did you know that salmon export is also a booming industry in 2024? Here are seven reasons why:

1. The global demand for salmon is increasing

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the global consumption of salmon increased by 5.6% in 2022, reaching 3.4 million tonnes. The main markets for salmon are the United States, the European Union, China, and Japan. These countries are willing to pay high prices for quality salmon products, especially those that are certified as sustainable and organic.

2. The supply of wild salmon is declining

Due to overfishing, climate change, pollution, and diseases, the stocks of wild salmon are dwindling. The FAO estimates that the global catch of wild salmon decreased by 8.4% in 2022, reaching 930,000 tonnes. This creates a gap between supply and demand, which drives up the prices and profits for salmon exporters.

3. The aquaculture sector is innovating and expanding

To meet the growing demand for salmon, the aquaculture sector is investing in new technologies and practices that improve the efficiency, quality, and sustainability of salmon farming. For example, some farms are using recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) that recycle water and reduce waste and emissions. Others are using offshore cages that allow more space and natural conditions for the fish. Some farms are also experimenting with alternative feeds that reduce the reliance on fishmeal and fish oil.

4. The trade barriers are lowering

Thanks to free trade agreements and regional integration, the trade barriers for salmon export are lowering in many markets. For example, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that entered into force in 2018 eliminated tariffs on salmon products among 11 countries, including Canada, Chile, Japan, and Vietnam. The European Union also signed trade deals with several countries that facilitate the access of salmon products to its market.

5. The logistics and transportation are improving

With the development of cold chain infrastructure and digital platforms, the logistics and transportation of salmon products are becoming faster, cheaper, and more reliable. For example, some exporters are using blockchain technology to track and verify the origin, quality, and safety of their products along the supply chain. Others are using air freight and e-commerce to deliver fresh and frozen salmon directly to consumers.

6. The consumer preferences are changing

As consumers become more health-conscious, environmentally aware, and socially responsible, they are looking for salmon products that meet their expectations. They are willing to pay more for salmon that is fresh, natural, organic, sustainable, traceable, and ethical. They are also looking for new and diverse products that suit their tastes and lifestyles, such as smoked salmon, canned salmon, salmon burgers, and salmon sushi.

7. The COVID-19 pandemic is boosting online sales

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the food service sector and reduced the consumption of salmon in restaurants and hotels. However, it has also boosted the online sales of salmon products as consumers shifted to home cooking and online shopping. According to a report by Rabobank, the online sales of seafood in China increased by 250% in 2020 compared to 2019. The report also predicts that the online sales of seafood will continue to grow in other markets as well.

Salmon Export: A Global Industry in Flux

Salmon is one of the most popular and valuable seafood products in the world, with a global market worth over $20 billion in 2022. However, the salmon industry is facing many challenges and uncertainties, such as environmental issues, rising costs, fluctuating demand, and regulatory changes. In this blog post, we will examine some of the key trends and statistics of salmon export in 2022 and 2023, and how they affect the main producers and consumers of this fish.

Production: A Slight Decline in Atlantic Salmon

According to Statista, global production of Atlantic salmon reached around 2.86 million tonnes in 2022, a marginal decrease of 1.1 percent compared to 2021. The main producer, Norway, accounted for 1.51 million tonnes, down 1.4 percent compared to the previous year. On the other hand, Chile, the second-largest producer, increased its harvest of Atlantic salmon by 3.4 percent to 692,800 tonnes in 2022.

The standing biomass of Atlantic salmon in Norway, Chile, the Faroe Islands, and the United Kingdom declined at the end of 2022 compared to 2021, indicating a lower supply potential for 2023. However, global production of Atlantic salmon is expected to increase by up to 4 percent in 2023, as some fluctuations in production normalize.

Other farmed salmonids, such as trout and coho salmon, also saw an increase in production in 2022, especially in Chile. Wild salmon harvests decreased in Alaska and the Russian Federation in 2022, but are likely to increase in 2023 for some species, such as sockeye and pink salmon.

Export: A Record-Breaking Year for Value

Despite the lower production volume, export value of salmon from the main producers reached historic highs in 2022, driven by high prices and strong demand from key markets. According to World’s Top Exports, the overall value of exported fresh or chilled salmon grew by an average 23.1 percent for all exporting countries since 2018, reaching $17.2 billion in 2022. Year over year, total exports of salmon increased by 12.4 percent compared to $15.3 billion in 2021.

Norway was the top exporter of salmon worldwide in 2022, with just over 47 percent of the global export share, followed by Sweden with 11 percent, Chile with 10 percent, Denmark with 7 percent, and Canada with 6 percent. The United States was the sixth-largest exporter of salmon in 2022, with a total of 36,500 tonnes of various species.

The main destinations for salmon exports were the European Union (EU), China, Japan, Russia, and the United States. The EU was the largest market for Norwegian and Swedish salmon, while China was the main market for Chilean salmon. Japan was the largest importer of wild salmon from Alaska and Russia, while Russia was a significant market for farmed salmon from Norway and Chile. The United States imported salmon from various sources, mainly Canada and Chile.

Prices: A Surge Due to Inflation and Costs

One of the main drivers of the high export value of salmon in 2022 was the increase in prices across all markets and segments. According to Statista, the global salmon price index rose by 22 percent from 2018 to 2022, reaching a peak of $8.5 per kilogram in December 2022.

The main factors behind the price surge were inflation, increased costs of energy, raw materials, and feed, as well as supply-demand imbalances in some regions. For example, Norway faced higher production costs due to a proposed tax on salmon farming that could have a significant impact on the industry’s profitability and competitiveness. Chile faced higher energy costs due to a drought that affected hydroelectric power generation. China faced lower supply due to trade restrictions imposed by some countries over COVID-19 concerns.

The high prices also reflected the strong demand for salmon from consumers who value its health benefits and versatility. Salmon is one of the favorite fishery products for consumers worldwide, with an average annual per capita consumption of seafood of around 21 kilograms in 2020.

A Dynamic and Uncertain Industry

The salmon industry is a global and dynamic sector that provides economic opportunities and social benefits for many countries and communities. However, it is also an uncertain and challenging industry that faces many risks and pressures from environmental, economic, social, and political factors.

In order to ensure its sustainability and resilience, the salmon industry needs to adopt innovative and adaptive strategies that can cope with the changing market conditions and consumer preferences, as well as the potential impacts of climate change, diseases, and regulations. The salmon industry also needs to collaborate and cooperate with other stakeholders, such as governments, NGOs, consumers, and researchers, to address the common challenges and opportunities that affect the future of this valuable resource.


Essential Topics You Should Be Familiar With:

  1. salmon export
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  7. food export
  8. sugar export
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