Twice the amount of cod and cod products was exported from Iceland to the United States in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2008, according to Statistics Iceland.
Icelandic cod. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“With decreasing price in Britain, the interest of Icelandic producers in the US market has grown again. A lower price has also led to an increased sale in the US,” Elvar Einarsson, managing director of the purchase department of Icelandic USA, told Fiskifréttir, a fish industry supplement of the weekly business newspaper Vidskiptabladid.
During the first six months of 2008, 1,106 tons of cod were exported to the US for ISK 783 million (USD 6.1 million, EUR 3.9 million). In the first half of this year, the export of cod climbed to 2,159 tons, worth ISK 1.7 billion (USD 13.3 million, EUR 8.5 million).
“However, the market is suffering a depression because of the economic situation and restaurants have encountered difficulties,” Einarsson said, referring to the US market. “We are hoping that rock bottom has been reached but I cannot make any statements on that yet. I expect restaurants to keep pressuring us not to raise the price of cod products.”
“The restaurants are facing a great struggle on turning their operations around and therefore put a lot of pressure on suppliers,” Einarsson explained. “Otherwise we have been fairly successful and we are content about our situation.”