The overall value of exported fresh or chilled salmon grew by an average 20.6% for all exporting countries since 2017 when worldwide shipments of salmon were valued at $12.8 billion.
From 2020 to 2021, total exports of salmon accelerated by 27.8% compared to $12 billion in 2020.
The 5 major exporters of fresh or chilled salmon are Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Chile and Canada. Combined, that leading quintet of exporters provided 84.6% of international sales of salmon during 2021.
Among continents, European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported fresh or chilled salmon during 2021 with shipments valued at $13.3 billion or 86.8% of the global total. In second place were Latin American exporters at 5.5% including the Caribbean. Another 5.3% of international salmon sales originated from North America.
Smaller percentages came from exporters in Oceania (2.3%) mostly Australia, Asia (0.1%), then Africa (0.001%).
There are 2 major categories of fresh or chilled salmon exports, namely:
- Atlantic or Danube salmon: $15.1 billion (98.8% of global total); and
- Pacific salmon: $184.2 million (1.2%)
Shifting focus to salmon imports, the 5 leading buyers of fresh or chilled salmon on global markets are Sweden, United States of America, Poland, France and Denmark. That cohort of main buyers of salmon on international markets consumed well over half (55.5%) of imported salmon during 2021.
The top 5 countries’ percentage is much more concentrated for exporter countries compared to major importer nations. This is partly because there are almost three times as many importing countries, islands and territories as opposed to exporting entities. Specifically, there are more than 143 importers compared to 55 exporters.
For research purposes, the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 030214 for exported and imported fresh or chilled Atlantic and Danube salmon. The code prefix for fresh or chilled Pacific salmon is 030213.
In addition, presented near the bottom of this article are key statistics for exports and imports for prepared or preserved salmon whether whole or in pieces. The HTS code is 160411 for these forms of processed salmon.
Top Fresh or Chilled Salmon Exports by Country
Below are the top 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of fresh or chilled salmon during 2021.
- Norway: US$7.2 billion (47.1% of total exported salmon)
- Sweden: $3.4 billion (22%)
- United Kingdom: $844.7 million (5.5%)
- Chile: $841.4 million (5.5%)
- Canada: $678.6 million (4.4%)
- Faroe Islands: $537.7 million (3.5%)
- Denmark: $494.6 million (3.2%)
- Australia: $283.5 million (1.9%)
- Iceland: $206.2 million (1.3%)
- Switzerland: $187.7 million (1.2%)
- Finland: $155.7 million (1%)
- France: $152.3 million (1%)
- United States of America: $135.3 million (0.9%)
- Netherlands: $133.3 million (0.9%)
- Ireland: $71.3 million (0.5%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 99.996% of global salmon exported in 2021.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing salmon exporters since 2020 were: Switzerland (up 9,383,150%), France (up 447.4%), Netherlands (up 142.1%) and the United States of America (up 99.6%).
Ireland was the lone top supplier to post a decline in its exported salmon sales via a -15.9% reduction.
Top Fresh or Chilled Salmon Imports by Country
Globally imported salmon appreciated by 24.4% over the 5-year period starting in 2017 and increased by 27.1% year over year from 2020.
Below are the 15 most lucrative countries as measured by the highest dollar value worth of salmon imported during 2021.
- Sweden: US$3.4 billion (23.4% of total imported salmon)
- United States: $1.34 billion (9.1%)
- Poland: $1.28 billion (8.8%)
- France: $1.26 billion (8.6%)
- Denmark: $816.6 million (5.6%)
- United Kingdom: $736.9 million (5%)
- Brazil: $610.2 million (4.2%)
- China: $596.2 million (4.1%)
- Spain: $500.5 million (3.4%)
- Germany: $399.1 million (2.7%)
- Italy: $396 million (2.7%)
- South Korea: $305.6 million (2.1%)
- Netherlands: $305.3 million (2.1%)
- Finland: $300.1 million (2.1%)
- Lithuania: $260.4 million (1.8%)
By value, the listed 15 countries bought 85.6% of globally imported salmon for 2021.
Among the top importers, the fastest-growing salmon buyers since 2020 were: mainland China (up 81.1%), Brazil (up 67%), Netherlands (up 58.6%) and the United Kingdom (up 52.6%).
Poland (up 9%) and Germany (up 9.6%) posted the most modest gains in their imported salmon purchases.
Main Prepared or Preserved Salmon Exports by Country
In addition to fresh or chilled exported salmon, a total US$819.6 million worth of prepared or preserved salmon was sold on international trade markets during 2021.
The prepared or preserved salmon dollar metric amounts to just 5.4% of the overall value for globally exported fresh or chilled salmon.
Below are the top 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of prepared or preserved salmon for 2021.
- United States: US$155.9 million (19% of prepared or preserved salmon exports)
- Poland: $153.3 million (18.7%)
- Thailand: $123.8 million (15.1%)
- Germany: $63.1 million (7.7%)
- Vietnam: $52.1 million (6.4%)
- Canada: $42.7 million (5.2%)
- Denmark: $39.3 million (4.8%)
- France: $26.7 million (3.3%)
- China: $26 million (3.2%)
- Chile: $24.9 million (3%)
- Ireland: $18.1 million (2.2%)
- Sweden: $16.3 million (2%)
- Netherlands: $15.2 million (1.9%)
- Belgium: $15.1 million (1.8%)
- Portugal: $7.1 million (0.9%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 95.1% of global exports for prepared or preserved salmon in 2021.
Among the top exporters of processed salmon, the fastest gainers from 2020 to 2021 were Ireland (up 245.2%), Belgium (up 143.6%), Netherlands (up 51.2%), France (up 38.4%) and Denmark (up 37.8%).
The severest declines belong to Portugal (down -39.5%), mainland China (down -34.8%), Canada (down -31.9%), Chile (down -28.5%), Vietnam (down -25.3%), then the United States of America (down -19.4%).
Main Prepared or Preserved Salmon Imports by Country
Besides fresh or chilled imported salmon, a total US$959.7 million worth of prepared or preserved salmon was bought by importers in 2021.
The dollar amount for imported prepared or preserved salmon equals 6.6% of the overall value for globally imported fresh or chilled salmon.
Below are the top 15 import countries that spent the most on prepared or preserved salmon in 2021.
- Germany: US$240.1 million (25% of prepared or preserved salmon imports)
- United States: $123.4 million (12.9%)
- Canada: $108.4 million (11.3%)
- Japan: $91.8 million (9.6%)
- United Kingdom: $86.8 million (9%)
- Australia: $39.8 million (4.2%)
- France: $32.9 million (3.4%)
- Italy: $24.4 million (2.5%)
- Sweden: $23.8 million (2.5%)
- Belgium: $23.4 million (2.4%)
- Slovakia: $20.3 million (2.1%)
- Netherlands: $16.7 million (1.7%)
- Switzerland: $13.9 million (1.5%)
- Austria: $12.1 million (1.3%)
- Ireland: $11.8 million (1.2%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 90.6% of globally imported prepared or preserved salmon during 2021.
Among the major importers of processed salmon, the strongest increases from 2020 to 2021 belong to Slovakia (up 430.7%), France (up 75.2%), Belgium (up 74%), Sweden (up 30.3%), then Switzerland (up 13%).
Posting double-digit declines year over year were the Netherlands (down -39.8%), Italy (down -14.4%), Ireland (down -13%), then Japan (down -11.8%).
See also Frozen Fish Exports by Country, Top Caviar Export Sales by Country, Unit Price & Weight, Oranges Exports by Country, Best Tofu Exports by Sales, Average Unit Prices & Weight and Top Vitamins Exports & Imports by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on August 27, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 27, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 27, 2022
Wikipedia, Salmon. Accessed on August 27, 2022