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Great month for Norwegian seafood exports

Press release   •   May 06, 2019 04:00 UTC

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Norwegian seafood exports amounted to NOK 8.8 billion in April. This is an increase of NOK 892 million or 11 per cent compared with April last year. Year to date, seafood exports total NOK 34.5 billion. This is an increase of NOK 2.8 billion or 9 per cent compared with the same period last year.

«We are seeing strong growth in global demand for Norwegian salmon. This is especially true for the EU, Asia and the United States. In addition, this year's skrei season has now ended, and high demand is driving high volumes and high prices. We have also been helped by the currency situation in April, where Norwegian kroner have been weak, especially against the dollar. Overall, this has been a fantastic month for Norwegian seafood exports”, says seafood analyst Ingrid K. Pettersen with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Record month for salmon

In April, 86,000 tonnes of salmon were exported with a value of NOK 6.2 billion. This was an increase in volume of 17 per cent while the export value increased by NOK 995 million or 19 per cent compared with April last year. So far this year, 333,000 tonnes of salmon have been exported with a value of NOK 22.9 billion. This is an increase in volume of 5 per cent while the value has increased by NOK 2 billion or 10 per cent. The average price for fresh whole salmon in April was NOK 68.46 per kg, compared with NOK 68.45 per kg in April last year. Poland, Denmark and France were the largest export markets for salmon from Norway in April.

“Poland was the most important export market for Norwegian salmon in April. This was also the market with the largest growth. Increased domestic consumption as well as increased processing of Norwegian salmon, especially for frozen fillets and smoked salmon marked for export, is the reason for the strong increase in Poland. Germany is the most important market for processed products from Poland”, says seafood analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Strong increase for trout

In April, 3,800 tonnes of trout were exported with a value of NOK 275 million. The volume increased by 4 per cent while export value increased by NOK 33 million or 14 per cent compared with April last year. So far this year 14,800 tonnes of trout have been exported at a value of NOK 1 billion. This is an increase in volume of 9 per cent, while the export value increased by NOK 165 million or 19 per cent. The United States, Belarus and Poland were the largest export markets for trout in April.

“Just as last month, exports of filleted trout products are increasing, with export volumes of fresh trout fillets increasing by 47 per cent. At the same time, there is also strong growth for smoked trout, which has risen by 145%, compared with the same period last year, says seafood analyst” Paul T. Aandahl.

Season of seasons and an increase for frozen cod

8,700 tonnes of fresh cod, including skrei, were exported with a value of NOK 362 million. This is a decrease in volume of 7 per cent but an increase in value of NOK 15 million or 4 per cent from April last year. So far this year, 33,900 tonnes of fresh cod, including scrap, have been exported with a value of NOK 1.4 billion. This is represents a reduction in volume of 20 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 78 million or 5 per cent. Of this, skrei represents 6,400 tonnes, which is an increase of 27 per cent, and an export value of NOK 285 million, which represents an increase of NOK 88 million or 45 per cent. Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands are the largest export markets for fresh cod in April.

“In recent years, skrei exports have remained stable at around 5,000 tonnes a year, and this is during a period when quotas for cod have declined. This year's skrei season has been historically noteable, with a growth in volume of almost 30 per cent, matched by record high prices. The market development work that the Norwegian seafood industry has been committed to is bearing fruit, and is something we can all be proud of”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

In April, 5,900 tonnes of frozen cod were exported at a value of NOK 253 million. This is an increase in volume of 17 per cent and an increase in value of NOK 76 million or 43 per cent. So far this year, 31,000 tonnes of frozen cod have been exported to a value of NOK 1.3 billion. This is an increase in volume of 16 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 362 million or 38 per cent. China, the United Kingdom and France were the largest export markets for frozen cod in February.

"In 2018, we saw a weak price development for cod fillet products, while this year we see a considerable price increase for all fillet products from cod," says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Downturn for clipfish

In April, 4,800 tonnes of clipfish were exported with a value of NOK 231 million. Within this figure, volumes fell by 27 per cent, and export value fell by NOK 77 million or 25 per cent compared to April last year. So far this year, 29,800 tonnes of clipfish have been exported to a value of NOK 1.3 billion. This is an increase in volume of 8 per cent, while export value increased by NOK 77 million or 6 per cent. Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Congo-Brazzaville were the main export markets in April.

“So far this year there has been a growth in volume, driven by saithe clipfish. The decline for cod in April may be due to reduced quotas and catches. Furthermore, we see that the price for clipfish of cod continues to rise”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Saltfish exports are down

In February, 4,000 tonnes of salted fish were exported at a value of NOK 231 million. Export volumes fell by 12 per cent while export value increased by NOK 2 million or 1 per cent compared with April last year. So far this year, 10,500 tonnes of salted fish have been exported at a value of NOK 587 million. This is a decrease in volume of 20 per cent while the value fell by NOK 68 million or 10 per cent. Portugal, Spain and Tunisia were the main exports markets in April.

“The downward trend in exports of whole cod fish continues in April. There has been less available raw material and high first hand prices, which leads to lower production levels”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Decline in herring exports, and an increase for mackerel

In April, 11,200 tonnes of herring were exported at a value of NOK 119 million. This represents a decrease in volume of 24 per cent while export values fell by NOK 23 million or 16 per cent. So far this year, 117,000 tonnes of herring have been exported at a value of NOK 966 million. This represents an increase in volume of 14 per cent, and an increase in value of NOK 72 million or 8 per cent. Lithuania, Poland and Belarus were the main export markets for herring in April.

April saw 10,700 tonnes of mackerel exported with a value of NOK 187 million. Volumes increased by 16 per cent while the value increased by NOK 64 million or 52 per cent. So far this year, 62,000 tonnes of mackerel have been exported at a value of NOK 1 billion. This is an increase in volume of 2 per cent and an increase in value of NOK 270 million or 35 per cent. China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand were the largest export destinations for mackerel in April.

Prawns and king crab both on an upward trend

1,600 tonnes of prawns were exported at a value of NOK 96 million. This represents an increase in volume of 100 per cent while export value has increased by NOK 30 million or 45 per cent compared to April 2018. So far this year, 5,200 tonnes of prawns has been exported at a value of NOK 363 million. This is an increase in volume of 86 per cent while the value increased by NOK 132 million or 57 per cent. Sweden, Iceland and the UK were the largest markets in April.

“The large volume increases seen so far this year are largely due to exports of raw materials to Iceland, at a lower price. For consumer markets, such as Sweden and the UK, we see a rise in prices which is also partly due to a reduced global supply”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

85 tonnes of king crab were exported at a value of NOK 28 million. This is an increase in volume of 87 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 14 million or 99 per cent from April last year. So far this year, 604 tonnes of king crab have been exported at a value of NOK 186 million. This is an increase in volume of 22 per cent while the value increased by NOK 47 million or 34 per cent. Taiwan, the Netherlands and Sweden were the largest export markets for king crab in April.

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.