Norway

Another strong quarter for Norwegian seafood exports

Fish & Seafood

Norway exported NOK 42.1 billion worth of seafood in the third quarter. This is an increase of NOK 3.7 billion, or 10 per cent, compared to last year. ”In terms of value, Norwegian seafood exports are still doing well. Salmon, trout, cod and pollack have had a historically strong third quarter behind them. However, it is still the weak Norwegian krone that is the most important driver of value growth”, says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Posted on Oct 23 ,00:05

Another strong quarter for Norwegian seafood exports

So far this year, Norway has exported NOK 124.1 billion worth of seafood. The total Norwegian seafood export in 2021 was NOK 120.8 billion.

"We can already see that 2023 will be a new record year for Norwegian seafood exports. Although most of the growth in value in the third quarter can be explained by the weak Norwegian krone, seafood from Norway is still a highly sought-after global commodity with a very strong position in many markets. Every day, a highly skilled seafood industry works to produce and develop quality products that ensure healthy, safe and sustainable food for the world. It makes me both proud and happy", says Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran (Ap).

Decrease in export value measured in euros

Measured in Norwegian kroner, July, August, and September were the best third quarter ever for Norwegian seafood exports.

"If, on the other hand, we measure seafood exports in euros, our largest and most important trading currency, there was an overall decline in value for Norwegian seafood exports. The reason is that the Norwegian krone has been significantly weaker in the third quarter compared to last year", explains Chramer.

Fewer export products with price growth measured in euros

Measured in Norwegian kroner, in the third quarter, there was a price increase for as many as 15 of our 20 largest export products, while measured in euros, only 8 out of 20 products had a higher export price than in the third quarter last year.

"It tells of an underlying picture that is more muted than if we only look at the value development in the Norwegian kroner", says Christian Chramer.

Fall in the consumer price index for food in the EU

The EU market had the largest share of Norwegian seafood exports in terms of value in the third quarter. 391,000 tonnes of Norwegian seafood was exported to the EU for NOK 25.1 billion, a value increase of 15 per cent.

"The development in the EU, to which we exported 60 per cent of all seafood in the third quarter, now shows an increasingly lower price increase for food products. The consumer price index for food in the EU markets fell in July and August. This also affects the price development for Norwegian seafood", explains Chramer.

These were the largest export markets in Q3

Market

bn NOK

% change

Poland

5,4

23 %

Denmark

3,6

14 %

USA

3,3

16 %

Netherlands

2,8

18 %

France

2,7

8 %

Spain

2,1

29 %

China

2,1

0 %

UK

2,0

-2 %

Italy

1,7

18 %

Germany

1,4

22 %

Some facts about seafood exports in the third quarter

  • The largest markets for Norwegian seafood exports in the third quarter were Poland, Denmark and the USA
  • A total of 661,794 tonnes of seafood was exported in the third quarter. This is a reduction of 81,488 tonnes compared to last year. Here, mackerel contributes the largest decline in terms of volume.
  • Poland had the largest increase in value this quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 997 million, or 23 per cent, compared to the same period last year. The export volume to Poland ended at 80,000 tonnes, 9 per cent higher than the same quarter last year
  • Seafood was exported to 135 countries in the third quarter. This is the same number as in the same period last year
  • Salmon increases the value of all the major growth markets, while the UK has a decline in several species, such as mackerel, haddock, prawns, trout and cod. For its part, China has seen a decline in mackerel, cod and haddock.

Seafood exports in September

  • The export value in September ended at NOK 15.9 billion
  • This is an increase of NOK 1.3 billion, or 9 per cent, compared to the same month last year
  • This is a record-high export value for Norwegian seafood in a single month. In total, the value was NOK 225 million higher than the previous record month, which was in March 2023

Historically strong quarter for salmon

  • Norway exported 347,700 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 31 billion in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 3.7 billion, or 13 per cent, compared to the third quarter of last year
  • Export volume fell by 1 per cent
  • Poland, the USA and France were the biggest markets for salmon in the third quarter

This is a record-high export value for salmon in a single quarter, NOK 952 million higher than the previous record quarter, which was in the fourth quarter of 2022.

"The value development follows a pattern of growth over a long period of time, and September was the 31st month in a row with an increase in value. Unfortunately, it is not the growth in demand that is the most important contribution to this, but the weak Norwegian krone", says Seafood Analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The greatest increase in value in Poland

Poland had the greatest increase in value in this quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 943 million, or 23 per cent, compared to the same quarter last year. The export volume to Poland was 64,400 tonnes, 7 per cent higher than last year's last quarter.

The reopening in China gives the salmon a boost

"China is the second largest growth market in the third quarter. This is largely due to the reopening of society after the coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant market, in particular, has given the salmon a boost. Larger quantities of fresh salmon have never been supplied to China than this year - neither from Norway nor in total", explains Aandahl.

Salmon exports in September

  • Norway exported 130,700 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 11.2 billion in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 1.4 billion, or 14 per cent, compared to September last year
  • Export volume fell by 5 per cent.

Record high export value for trout

  • Norway exported 18,900 tonnes of trout worth NOK 1.6 billion in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 145 million, or 10 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • Growth in export volume of 15 per cent
  • The USA, Ukraine and Japan were the biggest markets for trout in the third quarter

This is a record-high export value for trout in a single quarter, NOK 145 million higher than the previous record quarter, which was in the third quarter of 2022.

The biggest increase in value for trout to Ukraine

Ukraine had the largest increase this quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 115 million, or 136 per cent, compared to the same quarter last year.

"The export volume to Ukraine ended at 3,000 tonnes, 113 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year. Although there is growth there this year, the export volume is still 23 per cent behind the record export in the third quarter of 2020", says Seafood Analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Trout exports in September

  • Norway exported 6,300 tonnes of trout worth NOK 554 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 59 million, or 12 per cent, compared to September last year
  • There is a growth in export volume of 6 per cent

Strong quarter for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 6,900 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 377 million in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 97 million, or 35 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 34 per cent
  • Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain were the biggest markets for fresh cod in the third quarter

While Denmark and the Netherlands mainly re-export the cod to the large markets outside Europe, Spain is our largest consumer market for direct exports from Norway. The export volume to Spain has increased sharply compared to the third quarter of last year, driven by increased volumes of farmed cod.

Great potential in Spain

"The Spanish love fresh cod, and the Norwegian cod has a strong position. The potential for continued growth is significant, and with the farmed cod, the Spaniards have a greater opportunity to eat cod 12 months a year. We are also seeing more processed products from fresh cod in the shops. It is a positive development that can contribute to lifting consumption in the future", says Tore Holvik, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Spain.

Significant growth in the third quarter

Both wild-caught and farmed fresh whole cod had significant growth in the third quarter. 5,400 tonnes of fresh whole wild cod and 1,100 tonnes of farmed cod were exported. Exports of fresh fillets fell by as much as 40 per cent, and only 400 tonnes of fresh fillets were exported in the third quarter.

Largest share of farmed cod since 2012

"In the third quarter, farmed cod accounted for as much as 19 per cent of the export of fresh cod measured in value. This is the highest proportion since the third quarter of 2012. The export price for farmed cod was also significantly higher than wild cod's. While the average price of wild-caught fresh whole cod was NOK 47 per kg in the third quarter, the average price of fresh whole farmed cod was NOK 63 per kg", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Fresh cod exports in September

  • Norway exported 1,500 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 88 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 22 million, or 33 per cent, compared to September last year
  • This represents a growth in export volume of 49 per cent

Weak quarter for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 10,100 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 600 million in the third quarter
  • Export value fell by NOK 208 million, or 26 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • Export volume fell by 31 per cent
  • The UK, Vietnam and Latvia were the largest markets for frozen cod in the third quarter

A drop of as much as 35 per cent in the export volume of frozen whole cod contributes to a significantly weaker export value in the third quarter. Frozen fillet increases in volume by 13 per cent to 1,700 tonnes.

Decline to China

The export volume to China fell by a significant 74 per cent in the third quarter, and the country was only the fourth largest destination country for frozen cod in this period.

"Our export data back to 1988 shows that this is the first time China is not among the two largest destination countries for frozen cod in a quarter. Latvia, Vietnam and Portugal stand out with volume growth of 700, 700 and 400 tonnes, respectively", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Lower export volume to the UK

Our largest destination country, the UK, had a decrease in export volume in the third quarter of 17 per cent, or 540 tonnes.

"The decline is driven by a lower volume of frozen whole cod, which fell from 790 tonnes to 1,690 tonnes. On the other hand, the export of frozen fillet increased by 250 tonnes to 950 tonnes", says Brækkan.

This was the export of frozen cod in September

  • Norway exported 3,300 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 187 million in September
  • Export value fell by NOK 62 million, or 25 per cent, compared to September last year
  • Export volume fell by 26 per cent

Growth in volume and value for clipfish

  • Norway exported 21,700 tonnes of clipfish to a value of NOK 1.5 billion in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 124 million, or 9 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • There is a growth in export volume of 4 per cent
  • Portugal, Brazil and Congo-Brazzaville were the biggest markets for clipfish in the third quarter

Both cod and pollack increased in volume in the third quarter, with 140 and 1,170 tonnes respectively, or 2 and 10 per cent. The export value increased by 15 and 8 per cent, respectively, to NOK 841 and 579 million.

Good development for Brazil

The export volume to our second largest market, Brazil, was stable for cuttlefish of pollock and grew 12 per cent for cod clipfish.

"Overall for all clipfish, the volume to Brazil increased by 1 per cent to 3,900 tonnes, while the value increased by 7 per cent, to a total of NOK 271 million", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The greatest increase in export value to Portugal

Portugal had the largest increase in value in this quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 91 million, or 17 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

The export volume to Portugal ended at 5,500 tonnes, 3 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year. Of this, 5,400 tonnes were cod rockfish.

Clipfish exports in September

  • Norway exported 9,400 tonnes of clipfish to a value of NOK 669 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 19 million, or 3 per cent, compared to September last year
  • There is a growth in export volume of 2 per cent

Export value growth for salted fish

  • Norway exported 3,700 tonnes of salted fish to a value of NOK 274 million in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 29 million, or 12 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • Export volume fell by 2 per cent
  • Portugal, Italy and Canada were the largest markets for salted fish in the third quarter

Portugal had the largest increase in value this quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 16 million, or 11 per cent, compared to the same quarter last year.

Volume growth for Italy and Greece

The export volume to Portugal ended at 1,900 tonnes, which is 15 per cent lower than in the same quarter last year.

"Greece and Italy had the greatest volume growth in the third quarter. To Italy, there was an increase in the export of salted fillets of ling and tusk, which increased the total volume of salted fish, while Greece had growth for salted fish of cod and ling", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Salted fish exports in September

  • Norway exported 1,700 tonnes of salted fish to a value of NOK 128 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 16 million, or 14 per cent, compared to September last year
  • There is a growth in the volume of 4 per cent

Value growth for dried fish

  • Norway exported 764 tonnes of dried fish to a value of NOK 146 million in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 32 million, or 28 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • This represents a growth in export volume of 26 per cent
  • Italy, Mexico and Nigeria were the largest markets for dried fish in the third quarter

The export volume for whole dried cod is the lowest ever recorded in a third quarter, with a decrease of 16 per cent to 350 tonnes, down from 550 tonnes last year. However, the volume increased by 16 per cent to 260 tonnes for our largest market, Italy.

Decrease in export volume to Croatia, Nigeria and the USA

"The decrease in export volume was greatest to Croatia, Nigeria and the USA. It could be a sign that with lower cod quotas and more expensive raw materials, higher priority must be given to markets such as Italy, which are less price sensitive", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

This year's dried fish production is on its way to the market

Italy had the largest increase in value in this quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 30 million, or 57 per cent, compared to the same quarter last year. While the export volume in August was very low, the volume increased significantly in September.

"It seems that this year's dried fish production is now on its way to the market. This year, the export price has increased in line with raw material prices, i.e. the landing prices for fresh whole cod, and remained above NOK 300 per kg through the third quarter", explains Brækkan.

Dried fish exports in September

  • Norway exported 423 tonnes of dried fish to a value of NOK 96 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 25 million, or 36 per cent, compared to September last year
  • This represents a growth in volume of 22 per cent

Strong growth for herring

  • Norway exported 44,100 tonnes of herring worth NOK 812 million in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 155 million, or 24 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • This represents a growth in volume of 2.5 per cent
  • Poland, Germany and the Netherlands were the biggest markets for herring in the third quarter

In the third quarter, the trend continues with reduced exports of whole frozen herring, while exports of both fillet products and marinated products increase.

Increased demand for fillets

"The decline in the export of whole frozen herring is linked to a small supply of small sizes that many African markets demand. In addition, high prices for flour and oil and good demand for fillets lead to more fillets being filleted. High prices for Norwegian herring and the supply of Pacific herring to Africa also reduce exports to these markets", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Volume drop for whole frozen herring

There is also little of the largest herring in demand in Eastern Europe that is frozen whole. This has led to the volume in the third quarter falling by 40 per cent for whole frozen herring, while the average price increased by 23 per cent.

"For herring fillets, there is a marked increase in the export of skinless fillets. Here, the volume increased by 97 per cent, while the price increased by 11 per cent. There has been an increase in exports to markets such as Poland, Lithuania, France and Germany, which show good demand", explains Johnsen.

Demanding market for herring roe

Due to good demand for fillets, deliveries of North Sea herring from British boats, which normally deliver roe-ripened herring for roe production in September, were brought forward to August.

"There is a demanding market for herring roe this year due to large volumes of Icelandic capelin roe", explains Johnsen.

Decrease in the export of herring fillets

For herring fillets, there is a decrease in exports of 37 per cent in volume (from 15,200 tonnes to 9,600 tonnes).

"This is largely related to the fact that the export of herring patches produced from British raw material will not be exported until the duty-free period to the EU starts in February", says Jan Eirik Johnsen.

The herring quota is reduced by 24 per cent

For marinated herring products (vinegar-treated and spice-salted), the volume increased in the third quarter by 19 per cent, while the price increased by 12 per cent. Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany are the most important markets for these products.

"On 29 September, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) came up with its recommendation for the quota for Norwegian spring-spawning herring (NVG). In its advice, ICES points out that the spawning population will fall below the precautionary limit for next year, and thus, the quota advice will be reduced by 24 per cent, to 390,000 tonnes, compared to the current year", explains Johnsen.

Earlier this year, the quota for North Sea herring was published. There was an increase from 404,000 tonnes to 523,000 tonnes, corresponding to 29.5 per cent.

Herring exports in September

  • Norway exported 17,600 tonnes of herring worth NOK 337 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 52 million, or 18 per cent, compared to September last year
  • Export volume grew by 8 per cent

A weak quarter for mackerel

  • Norway exported 61,300 tonnes of mackerel to a value of NOK 1.3 billion in the third quarter
  • The export value fell by NOK 703 million, or 34 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • Export volume fell by 49 per cent
  • Japan, Vietnam and China were the biggest markets for mackerel in the third quarter

In 2021 and 2022, Norwegian fishermen did not have access to fish mackerel in British waters, where a significant part of the Norwegian quota was taken in the previous years.

Mackerel exports were accelerated

"The combination of this and large quotas meant that the mackerel season started early in August, which also affected exports, which were accelerated from October to August/September", explains Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Demanding conditions for mackerel fishing

"At the same time, the Norwegian fleet wants to take much of the quota in Norwegian waters, which is linked to future quota negotiations. The fleet was thus already active in mid-August and then in Norwegian waters. However, it has turned out that the mackerel fishing has been very demanding", says Johnsen.

Norwegian boats landed just over 90,000 tonnes in August and September, compared to 230,000 tonnes the previous year.

Good demand in Asia

"This naturally affects exports in the third quarter. At the end of September, 92,000 tonnes of the quota remained, compared to 25,000 tonnes at the same time last year. At the same time, it is expected that the quota will be taken during the month of October", says Jan Eirik Johnsen.

Good demand is reported in the important Asian markets, and the price to Japan, Norway's most important mackerel market, was 22 per cent higher in September than in the same month last year.

Mackerel exports in September

  • Norway exported 47,600 tonnes of mackerel to a value of NOK 1.1 billion in September
  • The export value fell by NOK 341 million, or 24 per cent, compared to September last year
  • Export volume fell by 42 per cent

A historically good quarter for king crab

  • Norway exported 934 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 427 million in the third quarter
  • Export value increased by NOK 181 million, or 74 per cent, compared to the third quarter of last year
  • This represents a growth in volume of 109 per cent
  • The USA, Hong Kong SAR and South Korea were the largest markets for king crab in the third quarter

A record-high export value of king crab in the third quarter is driven by increased export volumes as a result of increased quotas and landings so far this year.

On the other hand, export prices in the Norwegian kroner are down from the record levels from last year and have now stabilized at the level of the third quarter of 2021.

Strong growth in Hong Kong and China

"The third quarter is usually the strongest in the export of king crab because both the catch and demand are at their best. We see that the demand for live king crab has picked up in Asia. It is particularly driven by strong growth in Hong Kong and China in the third quarter", says Josefine Voraa, responsible for shellfish at Norway's Seafood Council.

The USA is the largest market

The USA is the largest and strongest growth market this quarter, as large volumes of frozen and live king crab go there.

"The export value increased by NOK 87 million, or 176 per cent, compared to last year's quarter. The export volume ended at 283 tonnes", says Voraa.

King crab exports in September

  • Norway exported 295 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 132 million in September
  • Export value increased by NOK 49 million, or 59 per cent, compared to September last year
  • This represents a growth in volume of 106 per cent.

Normally, there tend to be fewer king crab exports to Asia in September as Russia has started its red king crab fishing season, and the first big landings are coming into Asia.

"This year, there is a strong growth in the export value of live king crab to Hong Kong and China of a total of NOK 24 million compared to September last year", says Voraa.

Low exports of snow crab in the third quarter

  • Norway exported 185 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 20 million in the third quarter
  • Export value fell by NOK 45 million, or 69 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • Export volume fell by 60 per cent
  • The US, Canada and Indonesia were the largest markets for snow crab in the third quarter

As the quota has been fished earlier and earlier in recent years, more snow crab has also been exported in the first half of the year.

In this year's first and second quarters, there was a record high export with a total of 4,749 tonnes, while in the third quarter, only 185 tonnes of snow crab were exported.

Snow crab exports in September

  • Norway exported 41 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 6 million in September
  • Export value fell by NOK 18 million, or 76 per cent, compared to September last year
  • Export volume fell by 76 per cent

A demanding quarter for prawn

  • Norway exported 5,000 tonnes of prawn to a value of NOK 312 million in the third quarter
  • Export value fell by NOK 59 million, or 16 per cent, compared to the third quarter last year
  • Export volume fell by 40 per cent
  • Sweden, UK and Ukraine were the biggest markets for prawn in the third quarter

The export of prawns declined in the third quarter as a result of a decrease in the volume of frozen industrial prawns to Iceland.

"On the other hand, there has been an increase in the production of cooked, frozen shelled prawn in the Barents Sea. This has led to an increase in the export value of this product by NOK 59 million, or 1,162 tonnes", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

A weakened krone raises the export price

The export of frozen, peeled prawn is more on par with previous years. There is a slight decrease in volume of 89 tonnes, or 5 per cent, in the third quarter.

"A weakened krone against the euro means that the Norwegian export price is 7 per cent higher than last year, but in euros, it falls by 2 per cent", explains Voraa.

Largest increase in value to Ukraine

Ukraine had the greatest increase in value in the third quarter, with an increase in export value of NOK 33 million compared to the same period last year, and NOK 29 million compared to 2021. The export volume to Ukraine ended at 608 tonnes in the third quarter.

Prawn exports in September

  • Norway exported 2,400 tonnes of prawn worth NOK 124 million in September
  • Export value fell by NOK 29 million, or 19 per cent, compared to September last year
  • Export volume fell by 35 per cent

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