Japan's seafood imports increased by nine per cent in February, reaching 175,000 tonnes worth JPY 101 billion (USD 1.24 billion), an increase in the value of 10 per cent. Norwegian mackerel imports increased by 67 per cent compared with February last year.
This is a lower increase than in January. The total increase for January and February amounts to 12 per cent in quantity and 14 per cent in value.
Norwegian mackerel imports reached 2,643 tonnes in February.
So far this year, horse mackerel has virtually been absent in the Norwegian sector. The only catch was 30 tonnes taken Thursday 29 March from the vessel Sjarmør. Dutch and Irish boats have been more successful, resulting in an export of 5,240 tonnes of horse mackerel to Japan in February. The price of the horse mackerel was JPY 144 (USD 1.76) per kilogram, an increase of four percent compared with the same month last year. According to Japanese sources, this rise has taken place as a result of the fishing pressure and the increase in the demand for horse mackerel in Western Africa.
Imports of salmon and trout increased by 13 percent, reaching 31,265 tonnes. It was Chilean coho salmon the species that showed the highest increase, representing 19,800 tonnes of the total. Imports of Atlantic salmon reached about 7,700 tonnes while 3,800 tonnes of trout and 400 tonnes of sockeye were also imported.
In recent weeks, Norwegian salmon have increased by around JPY 30 (USD 0.37) on average at the Japanese wholesale markets. The increase is explained by higher freight rates due to more costly crude oil prices.