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Chile supplied 46% of the salmonids imported by the United States during 2020. Image: Salmonexpert archive.
Chile supplied 46% of the salmonids imported by the United States during 2020. Image: Salmonexpert archive.

Chile maintained its position as the biggest exporter of salmon and trout to the United States last year, new figures show.

The US imported 204,000 tonnes of salmonids worth $1.961 billion (£1.4bn) from Chile, according to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That amounted to 46% of the 458,000 tonnes of salmonids the US imported for $4.277bn.

The volume of salmonids imported in 2020 is an increase over the 444,000 tonnes imported in 2019 but a fall in value compared to that the 2019 figure of $4.425bn.

12% more volume

The volume of Chilean salmon imported was 12% higher than the 182,000 tonnes bought in 2019 but was worth 2% less than the $1.993bn made that year.

Canada ranked second, exporting 87,000 tonnes of salmonids across the border to the US for $677m. That represents a 6% decrease in the value of shipments compared to 2019, when a similar volume of exports was worth $721m.

Norway ranked third in salmonid exports to the US, earning $656m on 54,000 tonnes of salmonids. Both earnings and volume were lower than the $721m earned on the 61,000 tonnes exported in 2019.

Faroe Islands

China exported 48,000 tonnes of salmonids worth $268m to the US last year, which was a volume increase of 9% and a value decrease of 0.3% compared to 2019.

The Faroe Islands ranked fifth, with sales of $116m and 12,500 tonnes. These results represent decreases of 15% and 25% in value and volume, respectively, compared to 2019.

According to NOAA’s statistics, Scotland exported around 9,359 tonnes of Atlanatic salmon to the US last year, although this doesn’t tally with figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, which indicate that the US bought 14,000 tonnes of whole, fresh/chilled salmon last year.