Fish processing industry in Latvia is well developed and is locally a significant sector located in the rural regions and employing a high number of people - more than five thousand in 2013.
The major part of fish processing enterprises is located along the Latvia’s coastline.
During the last years, no significant changes occurred in the number of processing companies, there are about 100 producers.
In 2013, fish products and canned fish were exported to 54 countries. The total amount of export of fish products, including canned fish was EUR 222 million. In 2013, a significant part of fish products was traditionally exported to the EU and CIS countries. In 2013, as compared to 2012, export of fish products (without canned fish) to CIS countries increased by 11% and the increase was mainly because of 65% increase in export to Russia.
The exported tonnage of prepared and canned fish in 2013 increased by only 2.3% and amounted to 64.2 thousand t. Despite the fact that the CIS market continues to be one of the most important trade destinations for fish prepared and preserved in Latvia, in 2013 as compared to 2012, the share of export to CIS countries decreased and made 78% of the total export of Latvian canned fish.
During 2013, Latvia imported fish products and canned fish from 40 countries. This fish was used to supply the fish processing sector with the necessary quantity of raw materials, as well as to expand assortment of fish products and canned fish on the domestic market. In 2013, as compared to 2012, the import volume of fish products (without canned fish) increased by 14% totalling 60.5 thousand t. During 2013, leading positions among suppliers of fish to Latvian market were still kept by Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Estonia and Morocco. Most of produced fish was re-exported.
Compared to other fish products, the import of the prepared and canned fish and seafood during 2013 decreased by 2% as compared to 2012 and amounted to 6.7 thousand t.