Norwegian exports to Vietnam plummet; China up

Ole Alexander Saue

Norway’s salmon exports to Vietnam down two-thirds, as direct exports to China increase.

Processing hub Vietnam — Norway’s largest Asian export market for salmon last spring —  is seeing far less fish from the Scandinavian country these days.

After 14 weeks of this year, exports to Vietnam have fallen 66 percent year-on-year to 7,464 tonnes. Meanwhile, exports to China are up 196 percent over the year-ago period to 9,176 t.

“There’s a complete stop on Vietnam. (Exports there) are just for customers,” an exporter told SalmonBusiness last week, after Chinese authorities cracked a smuggler ring that had brought tens of millions of dollars worth of Norwegian salmon illegally into China via Vietnam.

However, the smuggling fallout, if the reason, might not have been the only reason for a drop in exports to Vietnam.

“In addition, we’ve had increased competition from Chilean salmon,” said seafood analyst, Paul Aandahl.

“(Chilean salmon-farmers) had slight production last year but are back to a normal situation. Then we have to expect that access to competing salmon is on the increase,” he said.

Asian futures
Asked if the smuggler haul would affect the Vietnamese market going forward, Aandahl said he couldn’t speculate.

“We see an even growth. If you look away from the currency challenges we now have (a strengthened Norwegian krone), then Asia and China will be the biggest markets with the largest growth down the road,” the analyst said.