U.S. salmon imports see 1H drop

 U.S. Atlantic salmon imports fell 11.5 percent in the first half of 2010, according to figures the National Marine Fisheries Service released on Wednesday.

U.S. Atlantic salmon imports totaled just over 200 million pounds in the first six months of 2010, compared to 226.4 million pounds during the same period last year, reported NMFS.

Chile, of course, is still recovering from infections salmon anemia virus that has devastated its salmon-farming industry and won’t return to pre-2008 production levels for another two to three years. Through June, imports of fresh Chilean fillets were down 60.5 percent, to 23.1 million pounds, while imports of frozen Chilean fillets were down 73.6 percent, to just 5.4 million pounds.

Norway and Canada are compensating for the shortfall in Chile. Through May, imports of fresh Norwegian fillets almost doubled, to 29.3 million pounds, while imports of frozen Norwegian fillets more than doubled, to 10.6 million pounds.

Imports of fresh Canadian fillets also nearly doubled, to 8.3 million pounds, through June. But imports of fresh whole Canadian slid 6.5 percent to 76.5 million pounds in 2010.

Atlantic salmon imports from Scotland and the Faeroe Islands are also up notably.

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