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Inflation has become a major factor in a decline in demand for salmon and other seafood across Europe, according to the Chief Executive of the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The Council’s CEO Christian Chramer said that, although overall inflation rates were falling, food inflation on the Continent  remains at a high level.
He said: “The economic development in many of our important local markets in Europe is weak; weaker economic growth in the Eurozone is expected than in both the USA and our largest markets in Asia.
“Germany is already in recession, while in France, household inflation-adjusted purchases of food fell in April to the lowest level since 2009.”
Chramer says consumer habits are changing with shoppers  choosing cheaper products along with reducing their consumption of meat and fish.
“In recent months, there has been a fall in the total home consumption of salmon, cod and seafood in all major European seafood markets”, he adds.
Chramer also pointed out that rising prices do not necessarily bring benefits for food producers.
“According to the food price index of FAO, which is the UN’s organization for nutrition and agriculture, raw material prices for a number of food products have started to fall. The same tendency also applies to Norwegian seafood exports.
“Export prices measured in foreign currency are falling for a number of Norwegian seafood products. As many as eight of our 10 largest export products had a lower export price in euros in May than the month before, and half had a lower export price than May last year”, says Chramer.
He also revealed, however, that there has been a sizeable growth in the export of frozen whole and cod and frozen cod fillets to the UK last month. So far this year, more than 7,000 tonnes of frozen cod have been exported to Britain during the first five months of 2023 – the highest total since 2002.
“This is confirmation of the close seafood bond between Norway and Great Britain and the position of white fish among British consumers. A significant part of the British favourite dish, fish and  chips, is made with Norwegian fish,” said Victoria Braathen, the Norwegian Seafood Council’s envoy to the UK.
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