Demand for fishery and aquaculture products in the EU is strong, with consumption per capita increasing.
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This is according to the Monthly Highlights from European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA).
This is reflected in EU imports, which have increased by one billion a year on average, since 2009.
In 2015, EU imports from third countries amounted to €22.3bn, which represents a 6% or a €1.3bn increase over 2014 and a 9% increase in the average import prices. Exports to third countries grew 3%, reaching €4.5bn, with a 16% higher average price than in 2014.
The EU trade deficit also reached its highest level at €17.8bn, 30% higher than 10 years ago.
The report shows that eight reporting countries saw first sales value increase in January-February 2016 over the same period last year. The eight countries were Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal and the UK. Belgium and Sweden saw falls in both value and volume.
In Latvia, an increase in the volume landed, combined with a 12% decrease of the average price, resulted in lower first sales value (-5%).
In the UK, the accumulated first sales value and volume increased 11% and 8%, respectively, over January-February 2015.
In February 2016, large increases in value among the major species landed were for Norway lobster (+53% in France and +47% in Denmark) over February 2015. Significant decreases in volume were recorded for herring (-28% in Denmark, -6% in Sweden and -3% in Latvia).
Groundfish exhibited the greatest increase in value in 2015 (+15%), mainly due to a high price rise of Alaska pollock (+19%). Salmonid imports grew +3% in value and remained slightly higher than groundfish imports.
Spanish retail prices of fresh anchovy experienced considerable fluctuation while showing a downward trend. However, in January-March 2016, Spain registered the highest price.
In Poland, retail prices of smoked mackerel were the lowest among the countries surveyed, at €3.88/kg. ■
Persistent cold northwest cyclonic flow over the Great Lakes region will continue to produce areas of heavy lake effect snowfall downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario going through tonight and early Wednesday.