Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Peksa & Tom Reilly of Mintec.
Over the last 5 years, consumer demand for salmon has overtaken tuna fish to become the nation’s second favorite seafood. Shrimp still continues its reign as the most popular US seafood species but for how long? The demand for salmon has been steadily increasing and has resulted in growth of over 14%. The US is the largest consumer of farmed salmon in the world and is continuing to grow.
Globally, the US is the second largest importer of salmon, after Sweden. The US imports an average of 240,000 tonnes of salmon per annum. To put this into context, if you were to stack all the imported salmon in one location, its weight would exceed that of the Statue of Liberty a 1,000 times over (concrete base excluded).
The US does farm and catch its own salmon. However, Norway, the global No. 1 producer and exporter of farmed salmon will be the main driving force behind world price movements.
In the first half of 2014, Norwegian salmon prices fell by 40%. Warmer sea temperatures helped the fish grow to marketable size earlier and consequentially increased volume. Following the Easter period, a seasonal drop in demand caused prices to fall further.
Even though a large volume of salmon came to the market early, low prices were sustained across the summer of 2014 thanks to the Russian ban on the importation of Norwegian fish products, allowing additional supply to enter the market.
2015 should be an interesting year for salmon – recent storm damage resulted in thousands of Norwegian fish escaping into open ocean, the weather has been mild and it is not fully known if the Russian with lift its ban later on in the year. Currently, the market is favorable, and the stocks are reasonable so we just have to wait and see.