The coronavirus is expected to severely impact the trade and consumption of seafood. In the salmon market, where Norway and Chile are the top two exporters, Asian countries continue to experience a significant growth in imports of Norwegian salmon (up 16% y-o-y in 2019), with China alone registering an increase of 95% y-o-y, importing 26,300 tonnes in 2019, according to Kontali. For the Chilean salmon, China was the fourth largest importer in 2019, accounting for 7% of the total Chilean exports, shipping in almost 41,000 tonnes, 2% more than in the previous year.
The exports of salmon to China, and seafood in general, are most likely to fall due to weaker demand and disruptions in the supply chain as a result of the virus. Since the beginning of January, Norwegian salmon prices have been on a downward trend, pressured down by various factors, including concerns over lower global exports due to the coronavirus. At the end of January, the Mintec price of farmed Atlantic salmon from Norway was down 13% m-o-m.