Norwegian minister hosts seafood summit on impact of war

Norwegian Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran is hosting a videoconference meeting with the country’s seafood leaders today to find out how the war in Ukraine is impacting the industry.

Seafood is second only to oil and energy in importance for the Norwegian economy. About twenty representatives covering all sectors of the industry are expected during which the sanctions against Russia and their future consequences will be discussed.

The development comes as salmon prices remain high despite the dispute, although the sharp rises of recent weeks may have stalled.

Statistics Norway reports in its latest bulletin that the export price of fresh salmon has increased by 0.4% or NOK 0.32 to NOK 87.92 per kilo.

Views differ on which direction prices will go. But some analysts believe the steady stream of depressing war news, coupled with soaring energy and oil prices, could have a dampening effect on consumer demand.

Others predict that with the decline in biomass in countries like Norway and the approach of the Easter holiday, prices will remain high. A more accurate picture may not emerge for a few weeks.

It should also be noted that rapidly rising feed and other production costs may soon negate all the benefits of high fish prices.

Exports are down. Total overseas fresh salmon sales fell 2.3% to 17,513 tonnes. The figure for frozen salmon almost halved to 216 tonnes, but prices rose a few crowns to NOK 72.47 per kilo.

Meanwhile, SalMar has sent 20 tonnes of salmon worth over £1million to Ukraine, where people are now facing severe food shortages.

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