OSLO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Norway exported 420 tonnes of fresh salmon to China last week, up from 355 tonnes the previous week and from just 32 tonnes during the same week a year ago, data from Seafood Norway showed on Thursday.
While the volumes accounted for a fraction of total exports of 16,519 tonnes last week, Norwegian producers see Chinese demand as an important factor to balance growing global salmon supply which weighed on prices.
In late 2016, Norway and China began to normalise political and trading relations following a diplomatic row over the 2010 award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Salmon exports to Vietnam, which has been previously seen as a backdoor to China, fell year-on-year.
Combined for China and Vietnam, volumes last week rose to 633 tonnes from 538 tonnes in same week last year.
In addition volumes to China associated Honk Kong rose to 459 tonnes last week from 199 tonnes in same week last year.
The European Union is by far the biggest export market for Norwegian salmon, buying 75.5 percent of volumes last week, down from 76 percent from the previous week.
Norway’s average export price last week stood at 54.94 Norwegian crowns per kilo compared to 65.14 crowns in the same week of 2017, when total export volumes amounted to 14,927 tonnes. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Nerijus Adomaitis)