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Chinese market offers Norwegian salmon good growth prospects

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Staff Writer | April 20, 2017
China‘s veterinary authorities are to visit Norway in order to consider reopening Norwegian salmon imports in China.
Norwegian salmon
Seafood   A lot of the challenges regarding market access in China
This visit follows the recent meeting of representatives of sanitary authorities of both nations met in Beijing.

In this regard, the fisheries envoy representing the Norwegian Seafood Council in China, Sigmund Bjørgo, pointed out that it was expected that a lot of the challenges regarding market access in China were to be solved before the summer.

“Our work is to restore the confidence in Norwegian salmon,” he said.

Bjørgo recalled that before 2010, Norway had a 90 per cent market share of imports of fresh salmon to China, stating that at present, the figure is down to 1 and 3 per cent.

The hope for change is supported by a report stating that salmon exports now can rise to between NOK 2 and 3 billion (USD 234-351 million) a year, a tenfold increase from the current levels.

“The demand is enormous. It is about facilitating exports to China so they may take place without delay,” Norwegian Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg stressed.

To strengthen the trade relations between the two countries, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende and Minister of Industry Monica Mæland went on an official visit to China at the end of March.

The Norwegian Seafood Council’s statistics have revealed that China imported between 70,000 and 80,000 tons of Atlantic salmon in 2016 but only 5 per cent of that was from Norway.

However, the council has high hopes and estimates Norway's potential market share could grow to some 65 per cent. Currently, Chile is one of the main salmon suppliers to China, together with Canada and Scotland.

The Asian country imports salmon from Canada, Scotland and Norway, whose kilogram of the species normally costs as much as YUAN 100 more than the fish from other countries, such as Chile, which is now one of China's largest sources of salmon.

The Norwegian Seafood Council obtained USD 1.15 million in marketing for its China operations in 2017, around ten times the figure in previous years.