Norway salmon farmers may beat sanctions by sending Chilean fish to Russia

lunes 11 de agosto de 2014 12:09 GYT

By Camilla Knudsen

OSLO Aug 11 (Reuters) - Norway's leading salmon farmers could escape the worst of Moscow's sanctions on Western countries by redirecting some of their produce from farms in Chile to Russia, a top producer and analysts said on Monday.

Norway's fish-farming sector was thrown in turmoil last week when Russia, which consumes nearly 7 percent of the world's farmed salmon, banned all Norwegian seafood in retaliation for Western sanctions on Moscow over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

The ban dragged Norwegian salmon prices down by around 10 percent, forcing farmers in the world's biggest producer to find new markets for the fish, which were in some cases already packaged and sent off to Russia when the ban came into effect.

"We expect that Chile will be able to cover some of the demand coming from Russia, and any gaps in the market would then be covered with fish from Norway," said Astrid Vik Aam, a spokeswoman for fish farmer Cermaq, which produces half of its fish in Chile.

"There will be a bit of rearranging in the market."

She added that Cermaq would then supply regions that normally get salmon from Chile, like the United States and Asia, with produce from Norway.

Cermaq and Marine Harvest - the world's biggest fish farmer - are also among the biggest producers in Chile and analysts said the cost of redirecting fish is not overwhelming as Chile already supplies some European markets.

"A lot of Chilean salmon is already destined for the EU and competes directly with Norwegian produce so it's not terribly demanding to send a ship, let's say to Saint Petersburg instead of Amsterdam," said Georg Liasjoe, an analyst at ABG Sundal Collier.   Continuación...