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Strong Króna Tough for Fish Processing

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Strong Króna Tough for Fish Processing

Flateyri, West Fjords

Boats in Flateyri, the West Fjords. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Representatives of fish processing companies in the northern part of the West Fjords are worried about the strong value of the Icelandic króna, which has caused them a considerable loss of income, RÚV reports.

Fish processing for export takes place in every municipality in the West Fjords. Steinþór Bjarni Kristjánsson, CEO of Flateyri Fish Processing, remarked, “Currency fluctuations, in the short term, are almost solely a cut in income, and for a young fish processing company, which hasn’t accumulated spare funds, this is very had, and it’s a struggle from day to day.”

The company is only a year old and relies mostly on a regional catch quota. While the value of the króna has strengthened considerably in past months, the cost of supplies changes little, and very slowly.

“In fact, the income goes down right away,” Óðinn Gestsson, CEO of the fish processing company Íslandssaga in Suðureyri, explained, “but the price of supplies only goes down two or three months later.”

About 90 percent of the products of the shrimp processing company Kampi in Ísafjörður, is exported to the UK. “Aside from the strengthening of the Icelandic króna, the [British] pound devaluated by an additional 10-12 percent, so we have experienced a 30 percent decrease this year, which has had a very bad effect,” lamented Albert Haraldsson, Kampi’s production manager.

All of the company representatives expressed worries about future operations, given the strength of the króna.

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