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Salmon processing factory. (Photo Credit: Tom Haga/NSEC)

Russian ban on Norwegian seafood poses 'a challenging situation'

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Friday, August 08, 2014, 22:10 (GMT + 9)

The Norwegian Seafood Council confirms that the ban on import of food products from the United States, the EU, Canada, Australia and Norway to Russia, recently decreed by Russian president Vladimir Putin, will include Norwegian seafood.

"This is a challenging situation for Norwegian seafood exporters. However, the Norwegian seafood industry has long experience of tackling trade barriers in Russia, and are thus prepared for such situations. Together with the seafood industry and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the Norwegian Seafood Council therefore works with assessing which marketing initiatives and priorities that can be implemented to mitigate the consequences the import ban may lead to," said Terje E. Martiniussen in the Norwegian Seafood Council CEO.

Because seafood trade is global, the Norwegian Seafood Council says it is prepared to make the necessary action and to allocate resources to maintain the high demand of Norwegian seafood globally. The products that normally are being exported to Russia may easily be traded in any of Norway's other 130 markets. Salmon in particular has challenges in the trade with individual countries that have proved difficult to balance with increased trade with other countries, as there is an underlying growth in the global demand for salmon.

The council informs Norwegian exporters that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries do not recommend packing shipments of seafood to Russia in the days to come.

Regarding seafood trade with Russia, the Norwegian Seafood Council highlights:  

  • Since the early 2000s, Russia and France have constituted the most important export markets for Norwegian seafood. Russia was for the first time in 2004 the largest market for Norwegian seafood. Since then, Russia and France have on a regular basis replaced each other as the most important market for Norwegian seafood.
  • Between 2011 and 2013, Russia was the most important market in terms of export of Norwegian seafood. In 2013, Norway exported 295,000 tonnes of seafood to Russia. The value of this export constituted NOK 6,5 billion (USD 1 billion), compared to NOK 5,9 billion (USD 938,720 million) in 2012.
  • So far this year, Norway has exported 128,000 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 3,2 billion (USD 509,140 million) to Russia. Compared to the same period last year (January-July), the development is nevertheless negative. The volume of seafood exported from Norway to Russia is reduced by 11 per cent, whilst the value is down with three per cent. At the same time, the export value to Poland has increased significantly. Poland now constitutes the biggest market for Norwegian seafood, whilst Russia is the second most important market.
  • In 2013, salmon and fjord trout accounted for 81 per cent of the seafood export. Fresh, whole fish are the most important products of salmon and fjord trout. In 2013, 134 trucks with fresh salmon and fjord trout was on average exported to Russia each week.

Related article:

- Russia bans food imports to retaliate against sanctions


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Photo Courtesy of FIS Member  Norwegian Seafood Council | Norges sjømatråd - Headquarters
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