NORWAY

Three consecutive years of value growth for Norwegian seafood exports

Fish & Seafood

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 13.3 billion in February. This is an increase of NOK 339 million, or 3 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

Posted on Mar 21 ,00:15

Three consecutive years of value growth for Norwegian seafood exports

"Thanks to strong growth in the value of salmon, trout, cod and snow crab, the export value in February was lifted to a historically high level. The value of Norwegian seafood exports has now increased every month for three years, which has never happened before", says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The last time there was a decline in export value was in February 2021. In each of the following 36 months, Norwegian seafood exports have shown growth in value, compared with the same months the previous year.

Global inflation and currency effect

"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak of war in Europe and a weakened economy during this period, Norwegian seafood has experienced good demand in the seafood market. In addition, the combination of high global price growth and a weak Norwegian krone has contributed to the three-year value growth", explains Chramer.

Fall in value for three months in a row measured in euros

"The big picture is that we are still exporting lower volumes at higher values measured in Norwegian kroner. At the same time, the export value measured in euros has now fallen for three months in a row, and in eight of the last 12 months. This clearly illustrates how currency-driven exports are", says Christian Chramer.

In February, Europe was once again the most important market for Norwegian seafood. In terms of value, 67 per cent of exports went to Europe. Asia (22 per cent) and the USA (8 per cent) follow in second place.

"When it comes to salmon, February saw a clear shift from whole fish to more processed products. The share of fillet exports has never been higher in a February before", says Chramer.

Record for cod and quality labelled skrei

For cod, February was a historically good export month in terms of value.

"Despite lower quotas compared with last year, there was a record high export value for both cod and skrei in February. As much as 31 per cent of the export value of fresh wild-caught cod was skrei. "This is a far higher proportion than in previous years and testifies to both the good quality of the catch and high demand in the markets", explains Christian Chramer.

Facts about seafood exports in February

  • The largest markets for Norwegian seafood exports in February were Poland, Denmark, and the USA
  • Seafood was exported to a total of 114 countries in February. This is three more than the same month last year
  • Denmark saw the greatest growth in value this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 179 million, or 18 per cent, compared with the same month last year

Value growth and volume decline for salmon

  • Norway exported 78,522 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 9.1 billion in February
  • The value increased by NOK 423 million, or 5 per cent, compared with February last year
  • Volume fell by 3 per cent
  • Poland, Denmark, and France were the largest markets for salmon in February

There was great variation in the development of the different product categories for salmon last month.

"The share of fillets has never been higher than in February this year. In terms of value, fillets and other processed salmon accounted for 30 per cent of exports. The previous record was set in January this year, with 27 per cent processed products", says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Denmark increases the most

While exports of fresh whole salmon fell by 9 per cent to 61,765 tonnes, exports of fresh salmon fillets increased by 41 per cent to 12,643 tonnes. Frozen salmon fillets fell by 12 per cent, to 4,819 tonnes.

"Denmark had the largest value growth this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 232 million, or 45 per cent, compared to the same month last year", says Aandahl.

The export volume to Denmark ended at 7,707 tonnes, which is 42 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Huge growth for trout

  • Norway exported 4,767 tonnes of trout worth NOK 454 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 130 million, or 40 per cent, compared to February last year.
  • This is a growth in volume of 62 per cent.
  • Ukraine, USA, and Thailand were the largest markets for trout in February.

"In contrast to salmon, fresh whole fish increased the most in terms of volume for trout", says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Fresh whole trout increased in volume by 118 per cent to 3,457 tonnes, while fresh fillets decreased by 15 per cent to 368 tonnes. Frozen fillets fell by 58 per cent, to 67 tonnes.

Value growth to Ukraine

Ukraine had the largest value growth this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 85 million, or 650 per cent, compared to the same month last year.

The export volume to Ukraine ended at 1,151 tonnes, which is 641 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Fall in value for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 7,696 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 474 million in February
  • The value fell by NOK 4 million, or 1 per cent, compared to February last year
  • Volume fell by 1 per cent
  • Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain were the largest markets for fresh cod in February

There have been increased landings, increased exports of farmed cod and a slight decrease in the total export volume of fresh cod in February.

Higher proportion of large cod

"More fresh cod has remained in Norway for consumption and processing compared with February last year. Part of the reason may be that there has been a higher proportion of large cod in this year's landings and that much of the large cod has gone to salting", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Farmed cod accounted for 12 per cent of exports of fresh cod

The export volume of farmed cod ended at 1,117 tonnes, with an export value of NOK 59 million. This is an increase of 22 per cent in volume and 33 per cent in value compared with February last year.

"Farmed cod accounted for 12 per cent of fresh cod exports in February. While the transit country Denmark was the largest market for fresh wild cod last month, another transit country, the Netherlands, was the largest market for farmed cod", explains Brækkan.

Increased volume to Spain

Spain saw the greatest growth in value for fresh cod this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 17 million, or 42 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

The export volume to Spain ended at 921 tonnes, which is 50 per cent higher than the same month last year.

"Both farmed and wild-caught cod increased in volume to Spain in February. We must go all the way back to 2018 to find the previous February with higher volumes to this market. This is even though cod quotas today are far lower than then", emphasises Eivind Hestvik Brækkan.

Historically good February for quality labelled skrei

  • Norway exported 1,906 tonnes of skrei worth NOK 129 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 31 million, or 31 per cent, compared to February last year.
  • This is a growth in volume of 40 per cent
  • Denmark, Spain, and Sweden were the largest markets for skrei in February

It was a record-high export value for skrei in a single month, NOK 21 million higher than the previous record month, which was in March 2023.

As much as 31 per cent of exports of fresh wild cod in February were quality labelled skrei, which is the highest proportion ever.

Increasing demand in Spain

Both export value and export volume increased to all three of our largest markets in February, with Spain showing the greatest growth.

"We see an increasing demand for skrei in Spain, with more supermarkets selling skrei than last year. It is therefore particularly pleasing to see that the supply continues to increase in February, even with the significant quota reduction", says Tore Holvik, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Spain.

Expect a solid cod season

The export value to Spain increased by NOK 19 million, or 101 per cent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to Spain ended at 627 tonnes, which is 120 per cent higher than the same month last year.

"Knowing that significant volumes of skrei arrive in Spain via the Danish transit market, this is set to be a solid skrei season in our largest skrei market", explains Holvik.

Good month for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 5,723 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 335 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 40 million, or 14 per cent, compared to February last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 10 per cent
  • The UK, Vietnam and the US were the largest markets for frozen cod in February

China weakened sharply over the past year, while other processing markets in Asia and Eastern Europe are playing a greater role.

The UK is once again Norway's largest market

"Last year, the UK was our largest market for frozen cod, after 13 years with China in first place. In February, the UK is once again our largest market, while China is only our ninth largest destination country for frozen cod", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Vietnam had the largest growth in value this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 78 million, or 537 per cent, compared to the same month last year.

The export volume to Vietnam ended at 1,859 tonnes, which is 478 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Value growth for clipfish

  • Norway exported 5,413 tonnes of clipfish worth NOK 360 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 41 million, or 13 per cent, compared to February last year
  • Volume fell by 2 per cent
  • Portugal, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil were the largest markets for clipfish in February

While clipfish of saithe fell in both volume and value in February, there was a sharp increase for clipfish of cod. The export value for cod clipfish ended at NOK 217 million in February, an increase of 141 per cent from last year, while the export volume increased 146 per cent to 1,913 tonnes.

For clipfish of saithe, the export value fell 36 per cent to NOK 130 million, while the export volume fell 24 per cent to 3,264 tonnes.

Exciting development

"Future developments will be particularly exciting for cod clipfish. With a larger proportion of the catch of large cod than last year, the supply of large cod for clipfish production has been better than expected", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Tougher competition for raw materials

The major quota reduction means that clipfish producers, like everyone else, will face a much tougher battle for raw materials.

"Our largest clipfish market, Portugal, is expected to increase its purchasing power this year, which could boost demand", explains Brækkan.

Portugal had the largest value growth this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 135 million, or 309 per cent, compared to the same month last year.

The export volume to Portugal ended at 1,644 tonnes, which is 278 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Increase for salted fish

  • Norway exported 2,347 tonnes of salted fish worth NOK 156 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 15 million, or 11 per cent, compared to February last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 14 per cent
  • Greece, Portugal, and Spain were the largest markets for salted fish in February

Portugal had the largest value growth this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 12 million, or 23 per cent, compared to the same month last year.

The export volume to Portugal ended at 657 tonnes, which is 2 per cent lower than the same month last year.

Good month for stockfish

  • Norway exported 433 tonnes of stockfish worth NOK 113 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 11 million, or 11 per cent, compared to February last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 8 per cent
  • Italy, Croatia, and Canada were the largest markets for stockfish in February.

The export volume of cod stockfish to our largest stockfish market, Italy, fell by 7 per cent in February to 252 tonnes, while the export value fell by 4 per cent to NOK 78 million.

Canada saw the greatest growth in value this month, with an export value of NOK 8 million, compared with nothing last year. The export volume ended at 30 tonnes.

Big fall for herring

  • Norway exported 16,223 tonnes of herring worth NOK 302 million in February
  • The value fell by NOK 96 million, or 24 per cent, compared to February last year
  • Volume fell by 41 per cent
  • Poland, Lithuania, and Egypt were the largest markets for herring in February

As in January, landings from the herring fishery in February are significantly lower compared with the same month in 2023. So far, 100,000 tonnes have been landed, compared with 160,000 tonnes last year.

The price level in first-hand sales is significantly above the same period last year, with an average price for consumption of NVG herring of NOK 10.58 per kg compared with NOK 7.78 per kg, and North Sea herring at NOK 8.74 compared with NOK 4.33 per kg.

Lowest volume for whole frozen herring in 32 years

"The low landing volumes are affecting exports. The trend of fewer exports of whole frozen herring in favour of fillets and processed products continues. In February, approximately 4,500 tonnes of whole frozen herring were exported. We must go back to 1992 to find lower figures for the same month", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The volume of frozen fillets has fallen by 6 per cent so far this year, while the value has increased from NOK 440 million to NOK 495 million, an increase of 12.5 per cent.

Value growth to Poland and Germany

"Prices in Norwegian kroner are up by 20 per cent, and in euros by 15 per cent. Poland and Germany are the most important fillet markets, and the export value here has increased by 16 per cent, while volumes remain stable", explains Johnsen.

Weak month for mackerel

  • Norway exported 20,355 tonnes of mackerel worth NOK 479 million in February
  • The value fell by NOK 126 million, or 21 per cent, compared with February last year
  • Volume fell by 34 per cent
  • South Korea, Vietnam and Japan were the largest markets for mackerel in February

In January and February, 35,000 tonnes of mackerel were landed compared with 48,000 tonnes in the same period in 2023. This affects exports, which are falling in volume while prices are rising.

The average export price for mackerel under 600 grams in February was NOK 22.61 per kg, which is the highest recorded. In dollars, the average price was US$2.14 per kg, which is the highest since May 2012.

Best February ever for king crab

  • Norway exported 170 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 97 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 17 million, or 21 per cent, compared to February last year.
  • Volume fell by 1 per cent.
  • USA, Spain, and Canada were the largest markets for king crab in February.

This is the highest export value for king crab in a February ever.

The growth in value is driven by a 225 per cent increase in volume for frozen king crab and a 38 per cent increase in price for live king crab.

Record high price for live king crab

The price of live king crab reached a record high of NOK 632 per kg in February. This is seven kroner higher than the previous record month, which was in May 2022.

"In the run-up to the Chinese New Year, demand for live king crab for Chinese communities in the US has been high. Together with a lower supply because of the sanctions against Russian crab, this has led to a price increase", says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Manager for Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Biggest growth in the USA

The US saw the largest growth in value this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 42 million, or 304 per cent, compared to the same month last year.

The export volume to the USA ended at 94 tonnes, which is 210 percent higher than in February last year.

Record-breaking month for snow crab

  • Norway exported 2,615 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 285 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 170 million, or 148 per cent, compared to February last year.
  • This is a growth in volume of 131 per cent.
  • The USA, the Netherlands and Japan were the largest markets for snow crab in February.

Good fishing and increased quotas have led to a record-high export value for snow crab in a single month, NOK 84 million higher than the previous record month, which was in July 2021.

Less than 25 per cent of the total quota for snow crab now remains.

Strong volume growth

"The growth in value is driven by a volume growth of 1,485 tonnes, as well as a small price increase for both frozen and live snow crab. In February, the export value of live snow crab reached a record high of over NOK 1.4 million. Five tonnes of live snow crab were exported, mainly to South Korea", says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Manager for Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The USA had the largest value growth this month, with an increase of NOK 95 million, or 296 per cent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to the US ended at 1,090 tonnes, which is 291 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Growth in value and fall in volume for prawn

  • Norway exported 1,498 tonnes of prawn worth NOK 108 million in February
  • The value increased by NOK 20 million, or 23 per cent, compared to February last year
  • Volume fell by 3 per cent
  • Denmark, Sweden, and the UK were the largest markets for prawn in February

Exports of frozen peeled prawn in packs over and under 2 kg represented the highest value for prawn in February, with almost NOK 50 million.

"This is a decrease of 2 per cent compared with February last year, which is due to lower volumes. The largest market for frozen peeled prawn was the UK, which has an increase of 19 per cent compared to the same month last year", says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Manager for Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Highest value growth for cooked shell-on prawn

Exports of frozen, cooked prawn, on the other hand, saw the greatest growth in value this month, with an increase of NOK 41 million, or 778 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

Exports of fresh shell-on prawn follow suit, with growth of NOK 1.5 million, or 24 per cent. At the opposite end, frozen raw industrial prawn contribute the largest decline in value, with a decrease of NOK 18 million, or 97 per cent.

"The Danish hub market had the highest value growth for prawn in total this month, with an increase of NOK 29 million, or 413 per cent, compared to the same month last year", Danielsen explains.

The export volume to Denmark ended at 645 tonnes, which is 413 per cent higher than in February last year. Most of this was frozen, cooked shell-on prawn.

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