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The European Smoked Salmon Market to Retain Gradual Growth Despite the Pandemic

smoked salmon

The European Smoked Salmon Market to Retain Gradual Growth Despite the Pandemic

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Smoked Pacific, Atlantic And Danube Salmon – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The size of the smoked salmon market in the European Union contracted slightly to $4.4B in 2019 (IndexBox estimates), approximately equating to the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The countries with the highest volumes of smoked salmon consumption in 2019 were Germany (39K tonnes), France (26K tonnes) and the UK (24K tonnes), together comprising 38% of total consumption. Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Romania, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Greece, and Portugal lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 45%.

From 2012 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of smoked salmon consumption, amongst the leading consuming countries, was attained by the UK, while smoked salmon consumption in France showed a mild contraction.

Moreover, exports in France are also decreasing for the second consecutive year. This is likely to be connected with the rising prices which make the product less competitive. Moreover, the volume of production is also decreasing, but the imports are rising, enabling the consumption volume to remain relatively stable. This makes a sign that cheaper imports are currently pressuring domestic production in France. Producers from Poland, Belgium and the UK, which are the largest smoked salmon supplying countries to France with rapidly growing volumes of supplies, seem to benefit from this trend.

Smoked salmon constitutes one of the popular fish products widely used for direct consumption and the production of bakery, pizza, snacks, and Japanese dishes. Since the use of smoked salmon is widely established, no sharp shift in consumption is currently expected. Population growth and rising incomes, which, in a broader context, reflect the overall GDP growth, are to remain key fundamentals behind the demand for smoked salmon.

In early 2020, however, the global economy entered a period of crisis caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to battle the spread of the virus, most countries in the world implemented quarantine measures that put on halt production and transport activity, which undermined economic growth heavily throughout the world. Large-scale quarantine measures constitute the key disruptive factor, due to which production dropped across almost every industry and entire economic sectors are closed, such as catering, non-food retail, and personal services.

The shutdown of the HoReCa sector led to a significant decrease in the production of bakery and Japanese fish dishes, which overall depresses the demand for smoked salmon. Moreover, in the context of falling incomes, consumers primarily tend to exclude non-staple goods from purchases, which include smoked salmon. Thus, a sharp drop in household incomes is a powerful factor that will restrain the smoked salmon market in the medium term.

On the other hand, given the reduction in the number of visits to shops and malls, consumers started to cook more at home. This promotes the demand for food home cooking ingredients, as well as for ready-to-eat products. Smoked salmon fits those requirements as it is typically sold ready for consumption and it could be stored for a certain period of time.

Accordingly, retail packaging adapted to different consumption situations becomes more popular: family packages, single person packages of various shapes and dimensions, snack packages, etc. People are less likely to visit stores, therefore the packaging with increased capacity may become more suitable. Given the limitations of the HoReCa sector and the reduced number of visits to traditional malls and shops, online retail is becoming a more important channel for the sale of food products. Moreover, contactless delivery becomes a ‘must-have’ option for retail services.

The high dependency of the smoked salmon market on international trade means that the lower transport activity and the possible disruption of smoked salmon supply chains are serious threats to the market. Thus, smoked salmon imports dropped to $1.7B in 2019 (IndexBox estimates). The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +6.9% over the period from 2012 to 2019.

In value terms, Germany ($752M) constitutes the largest market for imported smoked salmon in the European Union, comprising 44% of total imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Italy ($292M), with a 17% share of total imports. It was followed by France, with a 11% share.

The smoked salmon import price in the European Union stood at $16,662 per tonne in 2019, shrinking by -5.8% against the previous year. Over the last seven-year period, it increased at an average annual rate of +3.0%.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Austria ($19,632 per tonne), while Denmark ($12,596 per tonne) was amongst the lowest. From 2012 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by France, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Major supply chain risk comes from the disruption of established international supply chains including food handling and packaging intermediaries, as well as the distributor sector. Supply chains may be undermined by asynchronous quarantine measures taken in the involved countries as well as the restraints in deliveries.

Given the pandemic-related limitation of the HoReCa and retail sector, the smoked salmon market is not expected to post any tangible gains in 2020. Afterward, the market is forecast to resume gradual growth, driven by gradual population growth and the recovery of the HoReCa industry. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +0.5% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 246K  tonnes by the end of 2030.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform