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Frozen fillets buoy US salmon imports in January

Frozen salmon fillet imports saw an overall jump in volume and value.

Total US salmon imports grew 13 percent in January to 34,164 metric tons, according to new figures released by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The total value of salmon imports jumped 4 percent to $326.2 million (€262.9 million), driven by higher global salmon prices.

Imports of Atlantic salmon, which account for the bulk of US salmon imports, rose 13 percent to 26,080 metric tons, worth $263.2 million (€212.1 million), a nearly 1 percent increase in value over this time last year.

The largest salmon import category -- fresh farmed fillets – increased to 11,891 metric tons in January, a 9.7 percent increase from the amount imported during this time last year, the majority coming from Chile. However, the value of fresh farmed fillet imports fell to $129.1 million (€104 million), a 5 percent drop from this time last year.

Imports of fresh whole Atlantic salmon -- the second largest salmon import category -- reached 9,118 metric tons in January, an increase of roughly 5 percent from this time last year – the majority of which came from Canada. The value of whole Atlantic salmon fell 9 percent from this time last year to $74 million (€59.6 million).

Meanwhile frozen salmon fillets saw an overall jump in volume and in import values during this time period to offset those decreases.

Atlantic salmon frozen fillets, the third largest category, saw imports at 4,746 metric tons in January, a 61 percent increase from this time last year. This category saw a 48 percent increase from last year at $57.7 million (€46.5 million).

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