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OSLO, November 3 (Itar-Tass) — Exports of salmon from Norway remain at the same level after the Russian Rosselkhoznadzor agricultural watchdog suspended exports from three Norwegian companies, Jan Eirik Johnsen, Director of the Norwegian Seafood Export Council in Russia, reported on Thursday.
Three companies had been denied an access to the Russian market, he told the Norwegian News Agency. This is a problem for these companies, but this has not affected export amounts, as there are 31 other companies that continue exporting salmon to Russia, the director said.
According to him, exports have sizably grown over the past three weeks and will continue growing up till the New Year’s Day, when Norwegian salmon has a kind of ‘a high season’ in Russia. According to the Council, this year exports to Russia have grown 25 percent as compared with 2010, when record high exports were registered.
He said this tendency is a result of a decline of salmon prices in Norway almost by half, as well as because this product has become more available in Russia owing to the development of supermarket networks.
Earlier, the demand mainly concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and now the Council looks to new sales channels in Yekaterinburg and in Russia’s Urals on the whole, Johnsen stressed.
A ban was imposed late in October on salmon exports of three Norwegian companies after bacterium Listeria had been found in products of Sotra Fiskeindustri AS, Egil Kristoffersen og Sonner AS and Kirkenes Processing AS.
Norwegian producers made their own tests, which showed no bacterium Listeria in their products. At that moment many experts and media outlets supposed that the ban was a response to the arrest of the Russian trawler Sapfir-2 for an illegal dropping of fish overboard in the Barents Sea. Some specialists in Norway feared salmon exports to Russia would slump.
Last year, Russia bough from Norway seafood worth about 625 million euros. Salmon, trout and capelin were specialty goods.