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2015 a new record year for Norwegian codfish exports

Press Release   •   Jan 05, 2016 10:03 GMT

Norway exported cod, saithe, haddock and other whitefish worth NOK 13 billion in 2015. This is 8 per cent or NOK 1 billion more than in 2014, an all time high in terms of export value.

"The year 2015 was a record year for the cod sector, which after several years of low prices is now being rewarded for extraordinary efforts by stakeholders with good prices achieved for most products. Lower quotas, late spawning of cod, a good market for fresh fish, combined with live storage and a favourable exchange rate trend have all led to good prices and a record year for the cod industry," says Ove Johansen, Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Clipfish record in 2015

Total clipfish exports amounted to NOK 4 billion in 2015, which was 9 per cent or NOK 345 million more than in 2014. In total, 87,652 tonnes of clipfish were exported, a reduction of 11,091 tonnes or 11 per cent. Average price increase for all clipfish was 23 per cent.

NOK 2.24 billion worth of clipfish from Atlantic cod was exported in 2015, an increase of NOK 350 million. The price was an average 32 per cent higher than the price in 2014. The value of clipfish from saithe amounted to NOK 1.37 billion, which was NOK 50 million less than in 2014. The price for saithe was 13 per cent higher than the price in 2014.

Portugal is our most important clipfish market with a market share of 34 per cent, and it grew in 2015 by NOK 245 million, up 22 per cent.

"These are tough economic times in Portugal, so these numbers show how robust this cod market is. The Portuguese buy so much fish that they are now among the ten biggest export markets for Norwegian seafood. What is unique about this market is that it is dominated by wild fish," says Christian B. Nordahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Good salted fish exports

Exports of salted fish, both whole and fillets, increased by NOK 222 million to a total of NOK 1.13 billion in 2015, which is a growth of 24 per cent. The quantity was reduced by 6 per cent to a total of 30,006 tonnes, while at the same time the price increased on average by 32 per cent, measured in Norwegian kroner.

Sixty-four per cent of all the salted fish went to Portugal in 2015, with this destination growing 18 per cent in value.

Strong year for dried fish

Sales of dried fish and other dried products amounted in all to NOK 975 million in 2015, apportioned into NOK 687 million for whole dried fish, NOK 25 million for dried fillets, NOK 253 million for heads and backs and NOK 10 million for cuttings for animal feed. Overall, sales increased by NOK 68 million.

NOK 687 million worth of whole dried fish was exported in 2015, and this was 8 per cent more than in 2014. Total sales amounted to 5,251 tonnes, down 30 per cent from 2014. Some 3,526 tonnes of the main product Lofoten round cod was exported at a value of NOK 532 million. This is 11 per cent or NOK 54 million more than in 2014. The price was on average NOK 150.94, which is 53 per cent higher than in 2014. The largest market was Italy, which purchased NOK 396 million worth of whole dried fish.

In addition, dried heads and backs worth NOK 253 million were exported. This is an increase of 5 per cent or NOK 12 million. Nigeria is the largest buyer of dried heads and backs.

Export record for fresh products

The export value of all fresh codfish products amounted in all to NOK 2.82 billion in 2015, which is a new record. This is 18 per cent or NOK 437 million more than in 2014. Exports were reduced by 3 per cent in volume, while the price increased on average 22 per cent.

Exports of fresh cod amounted to NOK 1.5 billion, up 24 per cent from 2014. The price for fresh cod on average was NOK 26.73, 35 per cent higher than the price in 2014. Exports of fresh whole saithe increased from NOK 75 million to NOK 142 million, while exports of fresh whole haddock increased from NOK 323 million to NOK 331 million.

NOK 492 million worth of fresh fillets was exported, up 8 per cent or NOK 34.5 million. Exports of fresh cod fillets increased by NOK 4 million to NOK 370 million, while exports of fresh haddock fillets increased from NOK 78 million to NOK 103 million. The price on cod fillets was on average NOK 73.46 per kg, 20 per cent more than in 2014. For haddock fillets, the price increased by 9 per cent to NOK 63.48 kroner.

Reduction for frozen products

Exports of all frozen codfish products were reduced by NOK 89 million to a total of NOK 4.3 billion. The volume decreased 19 per cent.

Whole frozen fish decreased by NOK 123 million to a total of NOK 3.46 billion. Frozen whole cod decreased from NOK 1.77 billion to NOK 1.55 billion, and frozen whole haddock decreased from NOK 960 million to NOK 673 million. Frozen whole Greenland halibut increased from NOK 367 million to NOK 560 million, frozen whole saithe went from NOK 221 million to NOK 347 million and redfish increased from NOK 158 million to NOK 242 million in 2015.

Frozen fillets increased from NOK 750 million to NOK 789 million in 2015. The total volume decreased 11 per cent, while the price increased on average by 25 per cent.

It is China in particular which is reducing the purchase of frozen products. In 2014, China purchased about half of all frozen whole codfish. In 2015, the share has decreased to 36 per cent.

The Norwegian Seafood Council works with the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industries to develop markets for Norwegian seafood through local market intelligence, market development and reputational risk management. The Seafood Council is headquartered in Tromsø and maintains local representatives in twelve of Norway's most important international markets. The Norwegian seafood industry finances the activities of the Norwegian Seafood Council via a tariff on all Norwegian seafood exports.

The Norwegian Seafood Council is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.