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US surimi exports to Europe take a dive

Exports to Lithuania plummet during the first six months of the year, but nearly double to Thailand.

US exports of Alaska pollock surimi to Lithaunia – the home of surimi giant Viciunai in Europe – fell by almost half during the first six months of 2017.

In the six-month period through June, exports to the country amounted to 1,368 metric tons, down 47 percent from the 2,572 metric tons exported in the same period a year earlier, while the value of these exports fell 50 percent to $3 million (€2.5 million), compared with $6 million (€5.1 million) in the first half of 2016.

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Conversely, surimi exports from the United States to Thailand nearly doubled over the same period.

Shipments increased 85 percent, from 2,238 metric tons in the first half of 2016, to 4,148 metric tons in 2017, while the value increased 78 percent from $4.9 million (€4.2 million) to $8.7 million (€7.4 million).

South Korea and Japan remained the largest markets for Alaska pollock surimi exports, with 30,823 metric tons worth $74 million (€62.8 million) and 29,631 metric tons worth $65 million (€55.1 million), respectively.

Elsewhere, France increased US surimi imports slightly, from 4,234 metric tons worth $9 million (€7.6 million), to 5,488 metric tons worth $11.6 million (€9.8 million).

Spain, however, saw imports of Alaska pollock surimi fall from 2,886 metric tons worth $7 million (€5.9 million) in the first half of 2016 to 1,613 metric tons worth $3 million (€2.5 million) in the first half of this year, with Germany also witnessing a decline, falling from 2,079 metric tons worth $4.8 million (€4.1 million) in 2016 to 1,018 metric tons worth $2 million (€1.7 million) for the first half of 2017.

Overall, though, the United States increased its exports of surimi during the period in terms of volume, but got less money for it.

The country exported a grand total of 80,804 metric tons worth $182 million (€154.3 million) in the first half of the year, compared with 79,235 metric tons worth $190 million (€161.1 million) in the same period in 2016.

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