Alaska’s direct seafood exports rose 2.1 percent in 2014 over the previous year, to $2.26 billion in sales, according to US Census Bureau data, and may be significantly higher when including products first transferred to other states, and fish meal.
The export numbers released from the Census Bureau do not reflect Alaska resources and products first transported to and warehoused in other US states before export, nor more than $100 million in fish meal exports, said Patricia Eckert, associate director for the state’s Office of International Trade.
What this means in practical terms is that the Census Bureau data underreports significantly our exports to the United Kingdom, the largest canned salmon market in the world, Eckert said March 9.
Alaskan canned salmon may be exported to the UK via Washington State or Canada, and UK numbers alone for seafood should probably be around $100 million, but the Census Bureau captures only $17.7 million credit for Alaska seafood export because of the intermediate stops of Washington or Canada, she said.
In addition, the state compiled figures showing that the export of fish meal for the first time topped $100 million in 2014. The breakdown included exports to China, $53.9 million; South Korea, $33.9 million; Japan, $7.5 million; Taiwan, $4.2 million and other countries $0.7 million, for a total of $100.2 million.
Census Bureau data showed that overseas markets for Alaska seafood exports in 2014 included China, $783.5 million; Japan, $525.6 million; South Korea, $304.1 million; Germany, $253.7 million; Netherlands, $102.3 million; France, $49.0 million; Canada, $48.2 million; Thailand, $41.3 million; Spain, $22.1 million; Lithuania, $17.8 million; United Kingdom, $17.7 million; Ukraine, $17.0 million; Portugal, $15.6 million; Denmark, $13.3 million; Indonesia, $9.2 million; Russia, $8.6 million, and all other countries, $35.9 million.