important market for Peruvian scallops. The French market is also relatively stable. Although exports to France fluctuate according to availability of the product, the fluctuation is less than other markets such as the United States. The ban placed on fresh chilled scallops from Peru by the European Union in 2008 has not yet been lifted. The ban was put in place after a Hepatitis A outbreak among European consumers, which could be traced back to eating bivalve molluscs from Peru. While the outbreak was not caused by scallops (Donax clams (Donax spp.) were found responsible), the virus was likely contracted through contaminated waters. As a result, export of fresh and chilled scallops from Peru to the European Union has been banned, unless they have eviscerated or undergone heat treatment.
In the French market, Peru mainly competes with the United Kingdom, Argentina, the United States and Canada. In the years that Peru has abundant product, it is structurally the largest supplier of frozen scallops to France. In the years with fewer products available such as 2012, 2015 and 2016 the United Kingdom takes over the pole position in France. The imports of scallops to France seem to have declined in recent years from 28,000 tonnes at its peak in 2010 to only 535 tonnes in 2017 due to lack of availability and price (Undercurrent News, 2017a).
The European Union, with 969 tonnes the largest market for scallops with on average 15 percent higher prices than in the United States, has re-approved China for scallop exports to the EU, which were banned since 2007 (Undercurrent News, 2016). While at the moment only one company has received approval, it is likely that China will increase its scallop exports to the EU significantly and Chinese products will compete with those from other scallop suppliers. But as of now, no scallops have been yet exported to the EU (Undercurrent News, 2017b). With every scallop origin having its own unique selling points (size, wild versus cultured, species etc.) it is likely that Peru will remain as competitive at the moment, especially as global demand for scallop is increasing. Peruvian scallops differ from other scallops by being intermediate in size, primarily 20-40/kg; they are larger than the Argentinean scallop and smaller than European and North American sizes (Undercurrent News, 2017c). However, instability of supply of scallops from Peru makes it more important for buyers to have access to other sources as well.