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Higher prices drive up seafood sales at UK retail

The value was up in the 12 months through July, but consumers buy less as higher prices take hold.

Higher overall prices of seafood drove up the total value of UK retail seafood sales in the 52 weeks through July 14 despite a decrease in volumes over the period.

According to market research company Nielsen, UK retailers sold 314,865 metric tons of fish and shellfish during the period, down 2.9 percent year on year, while total value reached £3.3 billion (€3.6 billion/$4.2 billion), up 2.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Chilled category makes up lion's share of UK's seafood sales

Chilled seafood sales increased 2.2 percent over the period, to £2.1 billion (€2.3 billion/$2.7 billion), although in terms of volume this category fell 1.1 over the period, to 151,084 metric tons.

This segment makes up 64.3 percent of total sales value over the period and 48 percent in terms of volume.

In the chilled category, salmon sales amounted to £829.7 million (€919.6 million/$1.1 billion), up 4.1 percent from the year prior, while volumes fell 2.5 percent to 42,704 metric tons. Chilled salmon prices increased 6.8 percent over the period, to £19.43 (€21.50/$25) per kilo.

Chilled warmwater shrimp sales decreased 1.4 percent in value, to a total £191.2 million (€211.9 million/$246.2 million), and 4.5 percent in volume, to 11,794 metric tons over the period, but continued to be the second best-seller in the chilled aisle.

Average prices of the product increased 3.2 percent year on year, to £16.22 (€18/$20.90) per kilo.

Sales of chilled cod products increased 5.1 percent over the period in terms of value, reaching £191.2 million (€211.9 million/$246.2 million), just slightly behind chilled warmwater shrimp sales. In terms of volume, chilled cod sales amounted to 15,466 metric tons, up 2.7 percent year on year.

Prices for chilled cod increased an average of 2.3 percent, to £12.36 (€13.70/$15.90) per kilo.

Whitefish continues to dominate the frozen seafood category

Frozen seafood accounts for 22.5 percent of sales in terms of value, and 32.7 percent in terms of volumes of seafood sales.

Total frozen seafood sales were $737.5 million, up 2.2 percent year on year, while volumes decreased 2.4 percent over the period, to 102,917 metric tons.

Of this total, frozen cod sales accounted for £220.5 million (€244.4 million/$284 million), up 5.2 percent in terms of value year on year, while volumes fell 2.7 percent to a total 32,328 metric tons.

The average price of frozen cod increased 8.1 percent over the period, to £6.82 (€7.60/$8.80) per kilo.

The second best-seller in the frozen category was pollock, amounting to sales of £110.4 million (€122.4 million/$142.2 million), an increase of 5.2 percent in value, despite a fall in volumes of 2.7 percent, to 32,328 metric tons.

Frozen pollock prices increased an average 5.2 percent, to £4.53 (€5/$5.80) per kilo.

Frozen warmwater shrimp sales increased 8 percent in terms of value year-on-year, to £62.7 million (€69.5 million/$80.7 million), and 3.1 percent in volume, amounting to 8,230 metric tons.

Average prices of frozen warmwater shrimp increased 4.8 percent, to £7.62 (€8.40/$9.80) per kilo.

Canned tuna prices spike at UK retail

The ambient category accounted for just 13.3 percent of total fish sales across UK retailers, with sales amounting to £435.7 million (€482.9 million/$561.1 million), up 2.8 percent year on year, and 60,864 metric tons, down 7.7 percent year on year.

The main ambient fish product was tuna, which makes up for more than half the sales in this category. Ambient tuna sales came to £282.3 million (€312.9 million/$363.5 million), up 4.6 percent year on year, while volumes fell 8.7 percent, to 41,975 metric tons.

This is explained by an increase of 14.5 percent in prices, which averaged £5.45 (€6/$7) per kilo over the period.

Ambient salmon sales fell 3.4 percent over the period, to £54.7 million (€60.6 million/$70.4 million), and 13.2 percent in terms of value, to 4,145 metric tons.

Meanwhile, ambient mackerel sales went up by 3.6 percent, to £37.6 million (€41.7 million/$48.4 million), and by 2.2 percent in volumes, to 5,633 metric tons, on an increase in prices of 1.4 percent over the period, to an average £6.65 (€7.40/$8.60) per kilo.

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