Alaska Seafood Exports: Changing Market Destinations
The value of Alaska seafood exports has been growing steadily in recent years, from $1.5 billion in 2000 to nearly $2.5 billion in 2006. Japan remains the single largest export market for Alaska seafood, but retains that distinction by an increasingly narrow margin as the value of Alaska seafood exports to other markets continues growing.
Export value to Japan has been relatively steady for several years, remaining in the $800 - $900 million range between 2000 and 2006. In contrast, the value of Alaska seafood exports to all other destinations more than doubled during the same period, from $656 million in 2000 to $1.6 billion in 2006.
In 2000, Japan received $854 million in Alaska seafood exports, 56 percent Alaska���s seafood export value. Export value to Japan in 2006 was fairly similar at $808 million, but that amounted to only 33 percent of Alaska seafood export value for the year.
In 2000, European Union countries received $159 million in Alaska seafood exports (11 percent of the total) and China received $68 million (5 percent). Export value to those destinations has grown steadily since then. In 2006, value of Alaska seafood exports to European Union countries was $580 million (23 percent of the total) and exports to China were valued at $365 million, 15 percent of the total.
Between 2000 and 2006 changes in Alaska seafood export volumes to Japan, European Union and China were consistent with value changes in the respective destinations, as indicated by unit value (per metric ton). A rise in unit value indicates an export destination is receiving more costly product, while a decline indicates the reverse.
In both European Union and Japan, unit value declined by 3 percent between 2000 and 2006. Unit value of Alaska seafood exports to China rose by 11 percent in the same period. In 2006, unit value of Alaska seafood exports to Japan was $3,401 per MT, unit value to European Union countries was $2,791 per MT and value to China was $2,143 per MT.