Norway exported NOK 15.4 billion worth of seafood in October
"Norwegian seafood exports experienced historical growth in October. The value of NOK 15 billion is more than a solid record. It means that every day this month, we exported seafood worth just under NOK 500 million. These are enormous numbers and show how vital this industry is to Norway", says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.
So far this year, Norway has exported NOK 123.9 billion worth of seafood. That is NOK 27.1 billion ahead of the same period last year.
"On 25 October, we passed the export value for the record year 2021. Then the value for the whole year was NOK 120.8 billion. With good development in the last two months of the year, the export value of Norwegian seafood will pass NOK 150 billion in 2022. That is impressive and close to tripling in ten years", says Chramer.
So far this year, a record-high export value has been achieved for several species, such as salmon, cod, trout, pollock, haddock and prawns. Christian Chramer nevertheless emphasizes that there is are grounds for concern, despite the strong growth.
"We live in demanding and troubled times, with high food inflation and a fierce battle for proteins worldwide. Hence, the historically high prices for Norwegian seafood. In addition, a weaker Norwegian krone in October helped to lift the export value. The price in Norwegian kroner will be higher with a weaker Norwegian krone", Chramer explains.
Other challenging factors are the changes in seafood consumption and tighter private finances in households in the major markets.
"Several countries are reporting a decline in domestic consumption of seafood while the restaurant market is also experiencing challenging times. Expectations of a significantly weaker economic development, therefore, cast a shadow over the outlook going forward", emphasizes the Norwegian Seafood Council's managing director.
Salmon exports broke records for a single month. Exports were NOK 731 million higher than the previous record month, September 2022.
"The most significant contribution to the increase in value is the increased price. In addition, the export volume is increasing, the Norwegian krone is weakening, and we have increased further processing of salmon in Norway, which also contributes positively", says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The proportion of fillets is still increasing compared to last year.
"If we convert to round weight, fillet products account for around 15 per cent of exports in October. Up one percentage point compared to last year. So far this year, the proportion is 16 per cent. Also up by one percentage point", says Aandahl.
Poland had the largest increase in value this month, with an export value of NOK 472 million, or 41 per cent, compared to the same month last year. The export volume to Poland ended at 23,460 tonnes, which is 9 per cent higher than the same month the previous year.
"The USA is the second largest growth market for salmon, with a value increase of NOK 458 million, or 86 per cent. A strong dollar exchange rate and demand growth contribute to this", explains Paul T. Aandahl.
Following the corona pandemic, Americans have increased their focus on health and a healthy lifestyle.
“A full 61 per cent state that they want to live and eat healthier. The connection between food production and sustainability is strengthened in people's awareness, and 29% say that they want to reduce their consumption of red meat. Meat then needs to be replaced with other tasty and nutritious protein. Norwegian salmon and trout fit well into this trend”, says Anne-Kristine Øen, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to the USA.
The USA had the most considerable increase in value this month, with an export value of NOK 42 million, or 90 per cent, compared to the same month last year.
The export volume to the USA ended at 688 tonnes, which is 8 per cent lower than last year's last month. There is a record-high price for fresh/chilled trout fillets at NOK 142 per kg. NOK 15 higher than the previous record month, which was September 2022.
Both fresh whole cod and fresh cod fillet had a record high export price in October, with NOK 56 and NOK 125 per kg, respectively.
"380 tonnes of fresh whole-farmed cod were exported in October, corresponding to 20 per cent of the total export volume of fresh whole cod in October", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
While Denmark was the leading transit destination for wild-caught fresh whole cod in October, with almost 90 per cent of the volume, nearly half of the export volume of farmed fresh whole cod went to Spain.
"The Spanish love Norwegian fresh cod, but the category still has significant growth potential in the market. This is well illustrated by the increase in the export of farmed cod in October," says Bjørn-Erik Stabell, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Spain.
The export price of frozen whole cod was at a record high in October, at NOK 57 per kg. NOK 3 higher than the previous record month, which was in August this year.
The export volume of frozen whole cod to the UK continues to increase, ending at 570 tonnes last month, up from just 170 tonnes in the same month the previous year. So far this year, Norway has exported 8,000 tonnes of frozen whole cod to Great Britain. That's 2,400 tonnes more than last year and the highest export volume of frozen whole cod to the UK since 2016.
"The UK is also struggling with high inflation and increased costs for industry and households, while the growth in export volumes from Norway continues. Increased customs tariffs on whitefish imports from Russia may have contributed to this, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
October produced a record-high export value for clipfish in a single month. It was NOK 25 million higher than the previous record month, which was in October 2019.
"We also have record high export prices for both clipfish of cod and pollock, with NOK 113 and NOK 48 per kg, respectively", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
To our largest clipfish market, Portugal, the export volume of clipfish from cod fell in October by 34 per cent, or 1,600 tonnes, to a total of 3,000 tonnes. The total export volume to Portugal so far this year is 17,100 tonnes, which is 1,400 tonnes lower than at the same time last year.
"In Portugal, the consumer price index for food has increased by 18.9 per cent in the past year. At the same time, Portuguese households' expectations of their private finances have worsened in recent months. We are now seeing a decline in both home and outdoor consumption of clipfish. A bright spot is that tourism is still higher than before the pandemic, says Trond Rismo, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Portugal.
Exports to Brazil in October will end up on many dinner tables at Christmas. The country had a strong October, with an increase in export value of NOK 42 million, or 52 per cent, compared to the same month last year.
"1,782 tonnes of clipfish were exported to Brazil in October, which is 2 per cent lower than last year. As much as 57 per cent of the volume was clipfish of pollock, while 16 per cent was clipfish of cod", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan.
The export price of whole salted cod was at a record high in October at NOK 78 per kg, NOK 2 higher than the previous record month, which was in July 2022.
"Portugal had the largest increase in value this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 3 million, or 5 per cent, compared to the same month last year, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The export volume to Portugal ended at 865 tonnes, 16 per cent lower than last year's last month. So far this year, however, the export volume to Portugal is a whopping 18,400 tonnes, 4,400 tonnes higher than at the same time the previous year.
The export price of whole dried cod fish was at a record high in October at NOK 262 per kg, as much as NOK 19 higher than in September this year, which was the previous record month.
Italy had the largest increase in value this month, with an export value of NOK 23 million, or 32 per cent, compared to the same month last year. The export volume to Italy ended at 353 tonnes, which is 1 per cent lower than in September.
Dried fish has had a weaker price trend than many other cod products this year and a decline in export volume.
"It is therefore particularly pleasing to see that the export volume to our largest dried fish market, Italy, remains stable in October, even at record high prices. Record-high inflation and expectations of a weaker private economy among households still give rise to uncertainty about future developments, says Gunvar Lenhard Wie, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Italy.
The catching season for Norwegian spring-spawning herring (NVG) started two weeks later this year compared to last year, affecting exports in October. Export prices for herring are still high, but in October, the prices of whole frozen NVG herring and North Sea herring fell.
"In the market for whole herring, exports to Egypt and Eastern Europe have reduced. In particular, there has been a sharp decline in exports to Egypt, the biggest market for Norwegian herring last year. Challenges with access to foreign currency and that significant volume was purchased in the first half of the year mean that exports to Egypt have almost stopped in recent months", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The prices of fillet products are still increasing for most products and are at record levels.
"Herring patches of NVG herring achieved an average price of NOK 17.73 per kg in October, a new record. There is good demand for fillets and fillets of good quality, including in the important German market", says Jan Eirik Johnsen.
Prices for fishmeal and oil are at record levels. NVG herring commanded an average price of NOK 6.80 per kg in October, an increase from NOK 3.90 per kg in the same month last year. Large landings of herring and some mackerel on single days have caused capacity challenges, contributing to record deliveries (28,600 tonnes) of NVG herring for meal and oil in October.
Japan had the largest increase in value this month, with an export value of NOK 128 million, or 65 per cent, compared to the same month last year. The export volume to Japan ended at 15,882 tonnes, which is 27 per cent higher than the same month the previous year.
Mackerel exports are still somewhat behind last year, but larger catches in September this year resulted in higher exports in October than last year.
"Demand is still good in the important Asian markets, and exports to these are now in volume at the same level as last year, even though the average price is up 24 per cent", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The sanctions against Russian crab in the USA and the EU have increased the supply of Russian crab in Asia.
"After the Russian catching season for red king crab started in September, the increased supply of live king crab to Asia has reduced prices. In the same period, the news came that there will be no quota for red king crab in Alaska for the second year in a row", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
This impacts king crab exports from Norway, which increased by 37 million or 361 per cent to North America, while exports to Asia decreased by 4.8 million.
"The most significant growth is in the export of frozen and live king crab to the USA, which increased by NOK 32 million or 562 per cent. A weakened Norwegian krone against the US dollar has also contributed positively to the export value in October, as prices in Norwegian krone remain high, " Josefine Voraa.
Compared to October last year, there is a strong growth in the export of snow crab, as just under 2 tonnes were exported.
Extensive inventories and lower demand in the USA have led to a collapse in snow crab prices and a decline in Norwegian exports of snow crab of 66 per cent so far this year.
"The news that there will be no quota for Opilio snow crab in Alaska and sanctions against Russian crab has boosted the market in recent months. In October, Norwegian exports to the USA increased by 73 tonnes to NOK 13 million", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
October was a strong export month for frozen, peeled prawn. This category increased by 31 per cent in value, or NOK 18 million.
"This is primarily due to volume and price growth compared to October last year. A weakened Norwegian krone has also contributed positively to the increase in value", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The UK and Sweden were the two most significant growth markets in October. Expectations of continued high inflation of over 10 per cent, interest rate increases and a weaker household economy in the two markets still create uncertainty in the future.
"The export value of prawn has already passed the whole of last year and bears witness to a year driven by solid volume growth through increased landings and increased exports of frozen industrial prawns. Compared to the same period the previous year, 47 per cent, or 5,672 tonnes, more prawn have been exported from Norway", says Josefine Voraa.
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