U.S. salmon imports up 23%
U.S. salmon imports were up an impressive 22.8 percent in the first two months of 2012, compared to the corresponding period in 2011, according to new figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Service.
In January and February, U.S. salmon imports reached 97.6 million pounds, thanks mainly to a 117 percent increase in fresh Chilean fillets and a 81.7 percent increase in fresh Chilean fillets, totaling 21.6 million pounds and 4.2 million pounds, respectively. Chile has been ramping up production since rebounding from the infectious salmon anemia outbreak of 2007 and 2008.
Canada — the United States’ other major salmon supplier — is also playing a part. U.S. imports of fresh whole salmon from Canada were up 39.9 percent to 29.9 million pounds in the first two months of 2012. Those three product forms — fresh whole salmon from Canada and fresh and frozen fillets from Chile — represent well over half of total U.S. salmon imports.
And, confirming what the Norwegian Seafood Council announced earlier this week, NOAA Fisheries reported that U.S. imports for fresh Norwegian fillets dropped 58.7 percent to 1.8 million pounds, while U.S. imports for fresh Norwegian fillets slipped 10.7 percent to 2.3 million pounds.