Global trading platform Tridge
Maximize your business opportunity with our Intelligence & Data Solution. Get started now.

Analysis & Reports

Tridge Guide

Atlantic Salmon Guide

HS Code: 030219 - Fish; fresh or chilled, salmonidae, n.e.c. in item no. 0302.1, excluding fillets, livers, roes, and other fish meat of heading 0304
Top Exporter
SE flagSweden
Top Importer
US flagUnited States
Export Value
1Y -24.97%
Import Value
1Y -23.30%
Updated Jan 18, 2023

Market Penetration Strategy

What effect did the Covid-19 have on the salmon industry?

The global salmon sector has felt the impact of Covid-19 all along the supply chain, with production, processing, logistics, and markets all suffering to varying degrees. However, some observers are pointing to the lower prices and shift in focus to retail as an important opportunity that will benefit the sector in the long term.

The ongoing pandemic has introduced a large amount of uncertainty and led to some significant changes at the farm level. Poor market conditions and logistical challenges have seen many producers delay harvesting as long as possible, which means that supply in the first half of 2020 has been tighter than expected. The key markets for exported salmon have been heavily impacted by Covid-19. Market weakness and restrictions on movements affecting seasonal labor in processing plants and aboard fishing vessels are contributing to the reduction in supply.

Any distribution channel that can accommodate the needs of consumers that are conscious of the need to remain socially distant is now accounting for a steadily growing share of the market. The fresh segment, which is of key importance to the salmon sector, is suffering due to soaring logistical costs and a general preference for frozen and prepared foods amidst a general atmosphere of uncertainty. The retail sector saw a slowdown in demand for salmon due to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for fresh fillets as well as in the whole fresh fish segment. The impact of Covid-19 is driving some unusual dynamics. Firstly, the closure of foodservice is dragging down the prices of larger fish favored by the restaurant trade, which otherwise command a significant premium.


Widespread disruption in the salmon sector

Salmon’s upward growth trajectory grinds to a halt over COVID-19 

United Kingdom

Production Supply Chain

How Is the Value Chain Formed?

  • There has been a rise in large vertically integrated companies with direct ownership of production activities including hatcheries, fish processing and exporting. 
  • In 2020, about half of salmon production was wild caught and half aquaculture.
    •  Aquaculture production is soon to exceed wild caught production.
  • Once harvested, the fish are slaughtered, gutted, and graded – this is HOG (head on, gutted) form.
  • From here, if of superior quality, salmon is exported fresh/chilled.
  • For lower quality salmon, they are sent to secondary processing.
    • However, very little value-added processing of fish products occurs in Australia for either export or domestic markets.
    •  Most businesses undertake only basic processing, such as cleaning, filleting, chilling, freezing and packaging.
  • About 80% of salmon exports are sent via air freight. 


Seasonality of Main Producing Regions

What are the top varieties of salmon?

There are 6 top varieties of salmon based on consumer choice and its taste, including:

  • Chinook Salmon / King Salmon

Oncorhynchus tschawytscha, also known as King salmon, is considered by many to be the best-tasting of the salmon bunch. It has a high-fat content and corresponding rich flesh that ranges from white to a deep red color.

  • Coho Salmon / Silver Salmon

Oncorhynchus kisutch are sometimes called silver salmon or "silvers" because of the silver skin. It has bright red flesh and a slightly more delicate texture than Chinook salmon but a similar flavor.

  • Pink Salmon / Humpies / Humpback Salmon

Oncorhynchus gorbusha are the most common Pacific salmon. It has a very light-colored, flavored flesh and low-fat content. Pink salmon are often canned but also sold fresh, frozen, and smoked. Sometimes called "humpies" or humpback salmon due to the distinctive hump that is developed on the back when laying eggs.

  • Red Salmon / Sockeye Salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka salmon are noted for the bright red-orange flesh and deep rich flavor. It also known as "reds" both for the dark flesh color and because the salmon can turn deep red when moving upstream to spawn.

  • Salmo Salar / Atlantic Salmon

While the Pacific is home to several species of salmon, the Atlantic has but one, the species Salmo salar, commonly known simply as Atlantic salmon. All commercially available Atlantic salmon is farmed.

  • Silverbrite Salmon / Chum Salmon / Keta Salmon / Dog Salmon

Oncorhynchus keta is also called dog salmon for its dog-like teeth. Keta comes from its species name and is a way to get away from the negative association chum sometimes has. Keta is a smaller fish—averaging about 8 pounds—with pale to medium-colored flesh and a lower fat content than other salmon.


Types of Salmon

The Five Main Pacific Salmon

Salmon Description

United Kingdom

What is the grading classification of salmon?

There are four grades of grading classification of salmon. Includes:

  • Premium Grade

Handling: All Premium fish will be bled and chilled upon harvest. There will be no skin or internal cuts or tears. There will be no punctures or bruises. The meat will be resilient when subjected to finger pressure. Scale loss will not exceed 15%. Scale adherence will be uniform. Some scale loss due to the method of harvest handling can be expected.

Odor: Odor will be sea-fresh. There will be no off-odor.

Eyes: Eyes will be normal in appearance, bright and clear.

Gills: Gills will be bright red, and will smell sea-fresh and odorless.

Skin: Skin color will be characteristic of fresh fish that is typical of the species, sexual maturity, district of harvest, and time of year it was harvested. (Refer to ASMI Skin Color Evaluation Guide for Pacific Salmon). Skin will be bright, shiny, and not hold wrinkles when bending fish slightly. There will be no skin indentations, perforations, or scars. Slime will be clear. There will be no tail damage or fin loss.

Belly Cavity: Color will be bright and natural. There will be no belly burn or protruding ribs. The belly will be free of viscera and the collar free of gill membrane.

  • Grade A

Same as Premium Grade with the following exceptions: Bleeding will be optional. Scars may be present if less than 1 and well healed. There may be one skin cut less than 1. Scale loss will not exceed 25%. There may be up to 2 protruding ribs

  • Grade B

Same as Grade A with the following exceptions: Smell may be neutral. Eyes may be dull, but not milky or cloudy. There may be slight to moderate indentations, scars up to 1.5 in size, and one skin cut up to 1.5. Scale loss may not exceed 40%. There can be no tail damage and fin loss will not exceed 50%. There may be slight fading of belly lining natural color and slight discoloration. There may be a slight belly burn with up to 6 protruding ribs. There may be internal cuts not to exceed 0.5 total. There may be no viscera, but traces of blood are acceptable.

  • Grade C

Same as Grade B with the following exceptions: There may be a slight odor, eyes milky or cloudy, and gills pink to buff. Slime may be dull and copious. Scars and punctures will be allowed. Cuts and scale loss may be more than Grade B. Tail damage may be present and fin loss may be more than Grade B. Belly cavity discoloration may be more than Grade B. Bruising, belly burns, and cuts may be more than Grade B. Viscera traces and blood more than Grade B.

United Kingdom