OSLO Jan 4 The price of Norwegian fish will
continue to rise in 2017 as global demand outstrips supply and
the Chinese market opens up following a normalisation of
political relations, Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg predicted
The value of exports rose by 23 percent in 2016 as prices of
farmed salmon, the key product, jumped on strong demand,
currency weakness and a drop in supply, Norway's state-owned
Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) said earlier.
"In terms of prices, it's quite obvious it'll be another
record year in 2017, although it remains to be seen if it'll
grow as much as it did last year. That depends on the market,"
Sandberg told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.
"The supply of salmon doesn't seem to grow much in 2017,
while the market is set to increase," he added.
In December, Oslo and Beijing agreed to normalise diplomatic
and political ties, frozen since 2010 when Chinese dissident Liu
Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and which had largely
shut Norway's salmon exports out of a key market.
Following the deal, the two countries also agreed to resume
negotiations on a free-trade agreement, which would further add
to export potentials.
"We hope to make an agreement as fast as possible," Sandberg
said, while cautioning that a deal may come sometime after 2017.
(Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)