Exports of Norwegian salmon have just hit record levels, paving the way for a bumper run-up to Christmas.
They totalled 31,151 tonnes in week 36 (ending 11 September), the highest figure yet for a seven day period and almost 20% up on the same week last year.
The value from that figure is NOK 1.8 bn, (£150m), 28.6% higher than 12 months ago. However, prices have remained sluggish recently and while there are signs of a pick-up they vary considerably from week to week.
Norwegian Seafood Council analyst Paul T. Aandahl said: “Never before has more salmon been exported in a single week than in week 36 this year.
“Seasonal conditions with higher salmon production in the autumn, combined with a general growth in demand in the markets have contributed to this record.
“Normally, the top weeks for salmon exports are just before Christmas. This year we are seeing record volumes in the early autumn.
Aandahl added: “Several weeks of high exports can also be expected further into the autumn.”
The main markets for fresh whole salmon last week were Poland (+21%), Denmark (+2%), France (+21%), the Netherlands (+19%) and Spain (+14%).
Trine Horne, the Seafood Council’s French envoy, said: “Here, ‘La rentrée’ [the new school year] started a week and a half ago and the French are back at work and school after the summer holidays.
“Throughout the pandemic, salmon has consolidated its position as a simple and accessible product that can be prepared at home and this seems to continue even now that the restaurants have reopened.”