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Moderate growth in seafood exports in May

Press release   •   Jun 05, 2019 04:00 UTC

Photo credit: the Norwegian Seafood Council

Norway exported 181,400 tonnes of seafood with a value of NOK 8.7 billion in May. This is an increase of NOK 284 million or 3 per cent compared with May last year. So far this year, seafood exports have totalled NOK 43.3 billion. This is an increase of NOK 3.2 billion or 8 per cent compared with the same period last year.

«There has been a growth in export value for several species in May, where export earnings from salmon and mackerel in particular have increased. Demand for Norwegian seafood remains strong overall, especially in Europe and Asia. At the same time, the Norwegian krone has weakened, especially against the dollar, and this has had a positive impact on the export price. Despite the increase in both volume and value, some companies have unfortunately suffered great losses in their production, due to the recent algae outbreak. This is obviously a tragedy for those involved”, says Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, Director of Market Insight and Market Access with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Modest value gains in salmon exports

Norway exported 91,000 tonnes of salmon with an export value of NOK 6.1 billion in May. This is an increase in volume of 14 per cent and an increase in value of NOK 52 million or 1 per cent compared with May last year. So far this year, 425,000 tonnes of salmon have been exported with a value of NOK 29 billion. This is an increase in volume of 6 per cent and an increase in value of NOK 2 billion or 8 per cent. The average price for fresh whole salmon in May was NOK 62.17 per kg compared to NOK 73.16 per kilo in May last year. Poland, France and Denmark were the largest export markets for salmon from Norway in May.

“Strong growth in export volumes over the past two months has put pressure on salmon prices. Historically, May has tended to see increases in salmon prices, but the strong volume growth has reversed this picture this year. So far this year we have seen favorable production conditions, partly due to the warm winter. This has resulted in increased exports in recent months. At the same time, the demand for Norwegian salmon is still increasing, especially in the EU and Asia, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Trout exports increase

In May, 4,600 tonnes of trout were exported with a value of NOK 307 million. The volume increased by 11 per cent while the value increased by NOK 9 million or 3 per cent compared with May last year. So far this year, 19,300 tonnes of trout have been exported with a value of NOK 1.3 billion. This is an increase in volume of 9 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 169 million or 14 per cent. The United States, Belarus and Japan were our largest export markets for trout in May.

Down for fresh cod, but frozen cod exports rise

In May Norway exported 4,200 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 177 million. This is a decrease in volume of 27 per cent and a fall in value of NOK 26 million or 13 per cent compared to May last year. So far this year, 39,000 tonnes of fresh cod have been exported with a value of NOK 1.6 billion. This is a reduction in volume of 20 per cent, and the total export value declined by NOK 102 million or 6 per cent. Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain are the largest export markets for fresh cod in May.

“There is still a drop in volume compared to the same period last year. This is due to lower quotas and catches. In addition, there is a small dip in price, which is due to the fact that the average fish size is smaller”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In May, 5,200 tonnes of frozen cod were exported with a value of NOK 224 million. This is a decrease in volume of 12 per cent but an increase in value of NOK 8 million or 4 per cent. So far this year, 36,500 tonnes of frozen cod have been exported with a value of NOK 1.5 billion. This is an increase in volume of 11 per cent, and an increase in value of NOK 370 million or 32 per cent. The UK, China and the United States are the export markets for frozen cod in May.

«Lower quotas have also impacted exports of frozen cod in May. So far this year, however, exports of frozen cod have been growing, especially in the UK, and this trend has continued in May”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Value of clipfish exports remain at the same level as last year’s May

In May, 6,500 tonnes of clipfish were exported with a value of NOK 371 million. Volume fell by 14 per cent, while the export value remained unchanged from May last year. So far this year, 36,300 tonnes of clipfish have been exported with a value of NOK 1.7 billion. This represents an increase in volume of 2 per cent, while the value of exports increased by NOK 75 million or 5 per cent. Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Brazil were our main markets in May.

Salted fish exports decline

Norway exported 3,600 tonnes of salted fish at a value of NOK 214 million. The volume fell by 21 per cent while the value fell by NOK 20 million or 9 per cent compared with May last year. So far this year, 14,000 tonnes of salted fish have been exported at a value of NOK 799 million. This is a decrease in volume of 20 per cent while the value fell by NOK 90 million or 10 per cent. Portugal, Spain and Canada were our main markets in May.

“The weak development in the export of salted whole cod has continued in May, and we have also seen a steep rise in prices. Low access to raw materials and high first-hand prices explains the low volumes”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Herring and mackerel exports both see gains

Norway exported 11,700 tonnes of herring with a value of NOK 128 million in May. This is an increase in volume of 6 per cent while the value increased by NOK 18 million or 16 per cent. So far this year, 128,000 tonnes of herring have been exported at a value of NOK 1.1 billion. This is an increase in volume of 13 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 85 million or 8 per cent. Poland, Lithuania and Germany were the main export markets for herring in May.

In May, 10,500 tonnes of mackerel were exported with a value of NOK 184 million. Export volume increased by 13 per cent while the value increased by NOK 56 million or 44 per cent. So far this year, 72,500 tonnes of mackerel have been exported at a value of NOK 1.2 billion. This is an increase in volume of 3 per cent while the value increased by NOK 327 million or 36 per cent. Vietnam, China and Japan were the largest export markets for mackerel in May.

“Reduced quotas in 2019 have resulted in higher prices. Uncertainty regarding Brexit have increased the landing of British catches to Norway. This, together with increased Norwegian catches, has resulted in an increase of exports of mackerel”, says Paul T. Aandahl.

Up for prawns and king crab

Norway exported 1,200 tonnes of prawns with a value of NOK 97 million in May. This is an increase in volume of 29 per cent and an increase in value of NOK 23 million or 32 per cent from May last year. So far this year, 6,400 tonnes of prawns have been exported to a value of NOK 460 million. This is an increase in volume of 72 per cent and a NOK 155 million or 51 per cent increase in value. Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK were the largest markets in May.

117 tonnes of king crab were exported at a value of NOK 39 million. This is an increase in volume of 60 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 18 million or 87 per cent from May last year. So far this year, 721 tonnes of king crab have been exported at a value of NOK 225 million. This is an increase in volume of 27 per cent while the value increased by NOK 65 million or 41 per cent. Spain, the Netherlands and Japan were the largest recipients of king crab in May.

“The shellfish category has seen strong growth in export volume and value for the three largest species, prawns, snow crab and king crab. The prawns are exported primarily to our neighbouring countries, while the overseas markets are the largest buyers of Norwegian crabs. In May, they have in total contributed greatly to the increase in value, compared to the same period last year”, says Ingrid K. Pettersen.

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.

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