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A new May record for codfish exports

Press release   •   Jun 03, 2015 04:57 UTC

Exports of cod, saithe, haddock and other groundfish totalled NOK 1.03 billion in May, some NOK 216 million more than in May 2014. An increase by value of 27 per cent and a new May record. The record breaking exports in May were mainly dried cod and fresh fish exports.

”Our main cod market, Portugal has purchased less cod so far this year than in other years, but in May still accounted for more than 30 per cent of all cod exports. Very good prices were achieved for clipfish, salted fish and fresh fish so underpinning a very successful month. Meanwhile, there were some clouds on the horizon, with continuing concerns about veterinary issues for frozen fish exports to China”, says Ove Johansen from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Clipfish banner month

Norway exported dried cod worth NOK 337.5 million in May. An increase of 80 per cent or NOK 149.5 million more than in May 2014. Exports totalled 7,258 tonnes, an increase of 1,837 tonnes or 34 per cent year-on-year. Average price increases in May for all clipfish was 34 per cent.

Of the above totals, exports of Atlantic cod clipfish accounted for NOK 238.9 million, an increase of NOK 130.8 million compared to the same month last year. Prices were 38 per cent higher year-on-year. The value of saithe clipfish reached NOK 79.2 million, which is NOK 11 million higher than in May 2014. The price of saithe clipfish was 13 per cent higher than in May 2014.

The largest single market for clipfish was Portugal with exports totalling NOK 170.7 million in May. This is NOK 96.8 million more than in May 2014.

Very strong month for salted fish

Exports of salted fish, both whole and filleted, increased by NOK 66.4 million to a new total of NOK 167.7 million in May, 66 per cent up on a year earlier. By volume, salted fish exports were improved by 15 per cent to reach a total of 4,313 tonnes.

Portugal was the biggest market buying 80 per cent of all salted fish worth a total of NOK 141.2 million, 70 per cent more than in May 2014. Prices achieved in sales to Portugal have increased by 48 per cent to total NOK 39.56 per kg compared to a year earlier.

Price inflation for stockfish

The export market for Norwegian whole dried fish was worth NOK 17.6 million in May, and 23 percent less than in May 2014. By volume, the total reached 196 tonnes, a decline of 35 per cent year-on-year. By product, export sales of Lofoten round cod were 79 tonnes, or a value of NOK 9 million, down by 46 per cent or NOK 7.7 million. The price achieved averaged NOK 112.80 per kg, which is 35 per cent higher than in May last year.

Price increases for frozen fish, but clouds on the horizon

Exports of all frozen groundfish products were reduced by NOK 27.7 million in May to a new total of NOK 273.1 million. Prices were on average 27 per cent higher and compensated for a volume decline of 27 percent.

”Our strongest market for frozen whole cod, saithe and haddock has for several years been China. In May sales increased by 30 per cent to China, compared with over 50 per cent last year. The veterinary issues that Norwegian salmon has experienced in China, now seems also to be affecting sales of another Norwegian seafood to China”, says Sigmund Bjørgo, Fisheries Delegate in China.

Whole frozen fish were down by NOK 17.3 million to NOK 202.7 million. Frozen whole cod sales were slightly down from NOK 95 to 93.3 million. Frozen whole saithe was also reduced from NOK 35.9 to NOK 28.2 million, and frozen whole haddock sales were reduced from NOK 60.2 to NOK 45.8 million.

Frozen fillets showed a decline from NOK 78.3 to NOK 69.4 million in May. Export volumes were down by 40 per cent compared with a year ago, while the average price achieved increased by 48 per cent.

May record for fresh fish

The export value of all fresh cod fish products totalled NOK 224.6 million. An increase of 13 per cent, or NOK 26.6 million compared to May 2014. This year´s May is the best ever in terms of value. Exports by volume were slightly down by 8 per cent, while the average price achieved for fresh products increased by 23 per cent year-on-year.

Exports of whole fresh fish increased by NOK 19.2 million to total NOK 186.4 million in May. Exports of fresh Norwegian cod were worth NOK 120 million in May, compared with NOK 97 million a year earlier. Fresh whole haddock increased to NOK 37.8 million from NOK 34.9 in May 2014.

Fresh fillets increased by NOK 7.4 million to reach a total of NOK 30.9 million, with most of this growth being due to fresh cod fillets. The price achieved was NOK 73.55 per kilo, a 30 per cent increase compared with the prices prevailing in May 2014.

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 offices in thirteen 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.