Weak Norwegian krone in August brought new growth for seafood exports
"The devaluation of the krone is the main reason for the increase in the export value. In August, the Norwegian krone was as much as 16 per cent weaker against the euro than in the same month last year. This explains almost the entire increase in export value", says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Here are five highlights from seafood exports in August:
1. Largest increase in export value to the USA
As far as the world's regions are concerned, it is North America, where the USA is the largest market, that saw the strongest growth in value in August. The export value to this market increased by 24 per cent, to a total of NOK 1.5 billion. This accounted for 10.4 per cent of the total Norwegian seafood exports in August measured in value.
"The USA is becoming an increasingly large and important market for us. We must go back to the 1980s to find an August month when more than 10 per cent of the total value of Norwegian seafood exports went to North America", explains Chramer.
2. Two and a half years of value growth for salmon
Among the largest export products, in August there was a decrease in volume for mackerel, fresh and frozen salmon fillets, and frozen cod, while there was an increase in volume for fresh whole salmon and trout.
"Also, in August, Norwegian salmon exceeded a total export value of over NOK 10 billion. This is the 30th month in a row with value growth, and it shows what a strong position Norwegian salmon has in the markets. The prices of fresh whole salmon and trout measured in euros are still lower than at the same time last year", emphasizes Chramer.
3. Increased tourism lifts outdoor consumption
In the three summer months of June, July, and August, Norway exported NOK 41.3 billion worth of seafood. This is a value increase of 14 per cent.
"This summer has been characterized by the fact that tourism is largely back to the level before the coronavirus pandemic, especially in Europe. A distinct tourist destination such as Portugal is an example of that. The country is Norway's largest market for cod clip fish, and here outdoor consumption in May and June has picked up compared to last year. This is good news for Norwegian seafood exports, as the restaurant market is an important market that is able to pay well", says Christian Chramer.
4. August was a good month for live king crab
For the wild-caught species, reduced landings of mackerel in August resulted in a lower export volume, while the king crab has left behind a historically strong August in terms of value.
"Demand for live king crab has picked up in the Asian market. In August, we saw this in the hotel, restaurant, and canteen segment. Here, there was particularly large growth to Hong Kong SAR and to China", Chramer explains.
5. The August exports can be summarized as follows
NOK 1 billion growth for salmon exports
The export value for Norwegian salmon is the highest that has been measured in the month of August.
"It is currently the last in a series of 30 months with continuous growth in value measured against the same period the previous year. We must go back to May 2011 to find an equally long continuous growth period", says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Two contributing factors
Growth has been driven by an increase in demand following the coronavirus pandemic and a weakened Norwegian krone.
Poland had the largest increase in value this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 420 million, or 30 per cent, compared to the same month last year.
The export volume to Poland ended at 24,412 tonnes, which is 15 per cent higher than the same month last year.
Growth for fresh cod
The export volume for fresh whole wild-caught cod increased by 363 tonnes, or 25 per cent, to a total of 1,812 tonnes. At the same time, the export value increased by 35 per cent, from NOK 66 to 89 million.
Farmed cod accounts for 14 per cent of the export volume
For farmed cod, there was no export in August last year, while this year 408 tonnes of fresh whole farmed cod were exported to a value of NOK 26.7 million.
"It is therefore likely that farmed cod will be exported in all months of the year in 2023", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
So far this year, 5,753 tonnes of farmed cod have been exported. This corresponds to 14 per cent of the total export volume for fresh cod from Norway.
Decrease for frozen cod
The decline in export volume to China continues, and the export volume for frozen whole cod fell a whopping 77 per cent in August, to just 394 tonnes.
The export of frozen whole cod to Great Britain also falls significantly, with a drop of as much as 59 per cent, to 488 tonnes. However, the export volume of frozen cod fillets to the UK has almost doubled. Here, there is a growth of 97 per cent, to 365 tonnes.
Europe's share of exports is increasing
“The trend we have seen where an increasing proportion of exports is going to European destinations continues. So far this year, Europe accounts for 72 percent of the export value of frozen cod”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
This is the highest proportion to Europe since 2015.
"Stronger demand in the UK and a decline in the processing market of China are the main reasons behind the turnaround", explains Brækkan.
A good August for clip fish
The export value of clip fish from pollock rose by 25 per cent in August, to a total of NOK 218 million. At the same time, the export volume increased by 27 per cent, to 4,800 tonnes.
For cut cod fish, the export value increased by 27 per cent, to a total of NOK 236 million, while the export volume increased by 12 per cent, to a total of 2,000 tonnes. The export volume for cod clip fish has now increased for three months in a row.
Greatest export growth to Portugal
"Portugal, which is our largest market for cod clip fish had the greatest growth in value in August, with an increase in export value of NOK 35 million, or 24 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 1,584 tonnes, which is 10 per cent higher than the same month last year. Of this, 1,516 tonnes were cod clip fish.
So far this year, the export volume for cod clip fish to Portugal is 10 per cent lower than last year, while our second largest market, Brazil, has grown by 7 per cent.
Historically high prices for clip fish
The development in home consumption in Portugal, like the export volume, shows a decline this year. Although clipfish prices in the grocery trade have fallen somewhat since the end of last year, they are still at a historically high level.
"This helps to reduce consumption. However, outdoor consumption has picked up, and in both May and June, there was growth compared to the same period last year. It may have something to do with the fact that tourism in Portugal continues to grow, which we have seen throughout the year”, says Trond Rismo, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Portugal.
A strong export month for salted fish
Portugal had the greatest increase in value this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 21 million, or 72 per cent, compared to the same month last year.
The export volume to Portugal ended at 530 tonnes, which is 21 per cent higher than the same month last year.
Volume growth for dried fish
The main reason for the growth in volume in August was a sharp increase in the export of dried longline fillets, almost all of which went to Mexico. A total of 177 tonnes of dried fillets of languor were exported to Mexico last month.
Exports to Mexico increased the most
"This also means that Mexico is the market that had the largest increase in value for dried fish in August. The increase was NOK 11 million, or 547 per cent, compared to the same month last year”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The export volume to Mexico in August is 607 per cent higher compared to the same month last year.
Strong volume decline for dried cod fish
The export volume of whole dried cod was only 12 tonnes in August, a drop of 86 per cent from 83 tonnes last year. As usual, Italy was the largest destination, with 7 tonnes and an export value of NOK 2.2 million.
"The low export volume for dried cod fish in August may indicate that the stocks from last year's production are now more or less empty. The export of this year's production will start in full in the coming months", explains Brækkan.
Good August for herring
The North Sea herring fishery picked up in August, with 52,000 tonnes landed by Norwegian and foreign boats. In comparison, 20,000 tonnes were landed in August last year. This is reflected in increased export volumes out of Norway.
Good demand in the fillet markets
There is still good demand in the fillet markets, especially for the important Polish market. In addition to having a high consumption, Poland also produces for the German market.
"There is currently a good development here, and the export value of Norwegian herring to Poland has so far this year seen a value increase of 40 per cent and a volume increase of 25 per cent", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Low landings resulted in a weak August for mackerel
For the past two years, the mackerel season has started unusually early due to a lack of access to fish mackerel in British waters, and a high quota.
"With the conclusion of a bilateral mackerel agreement with Great Britain on 8 June this year, and a reduction in the quota of almost 19 per cent, it was expected that the season would start significantly later this year", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Price reduction on whole frozen mackerel
In August, 49,500 tonnes were landed compared to 99,000 tonnes in the same month last year.
"High prices have been reported to fishermen for mackerel deliveries in August. If we look at the average export price of whole frozen mackerel, there is a decrease here compared to the previous four months”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Historic export month for king crab
August is traditionally the strongest month for king crab exports. Then the demand for live king crab in Asia is high at the same time as the Russian red king crab season has not yet started.
Increased export volume and historically high export value
"In this respect, this year's August is no exception. Increased landings compared to last year result in increased export volumes. In fact, it is a record export value for king crab in a single month. It is NOK 28 million higher than the previous record month, which was in August 2021", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Measured in volume, exports in August were only beaten by August 2018.
Biggest growth for Hong Kong SAR
"Hong Kong SAR continues the growth we have seen so far this year and is both the largest market and a growth market this month, with an increase in export value of NOK 36 million, or 230 per cent, compared to the same month last year", explains Voraa.
August has traditionally been a strong month for exports of live king crab to Hong Kong SAR and China.
Increasing demand after the coronavirus restrictions ended
"After the corona restrictions in these markets were lifted earlier this year, there has been an increasing demand for king crab. This applies particularly to the hotel, restaurant, and canteen segment, which is an important growth driver”, says the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to China, Andreas Thorud.
Export decline for snow crab
Indonesia had the largest increase in value this month, with an export value of NOK 1 million, compared to nothing last year.
Value growth and volume decline for prawn
High activity in the prawn fishery in the Barents Sea and increased landings of cooked shell prawns had an impact on the export of prawns in August, with an export of 916 tonnes worth NOK 44 million. The month saw an increase in value of NOK 41.5 million and 876 tonnes in export volume.
Export volume is driving the increase, while the export price of NOK 47.93 per kg on average is down by 19 per cent compared to August last year.
Largest increase in value to Ukraine
"Ukraine has the largest increase in value for shrimp in total, with an increase in export value of NOK 14 million in August compared to the same month last year. This is because, in August last year, only 2 tonnes went, compared to 239 tonnes this year”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.
So far this year, Ukraine is the 6th largest market for Norwegian prawns and the largest growth market for frozen, in-shell prawns.
"The development so far this year shows that there is a need for healthy protein sources that are easy to prepare, such as prawn, and here Norway has become an important supplier to the market", explains Josefine Voraa.
The decrease in volume in August is due to a decrease in the export of frozen, raw industrial prawn to Iceland.
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