NORWAY

Value growth for salmon and trout contributed to solid seafood exports in May

Fish & Seafood

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 14 billion in May. This is an increase of NOK 1 billion, or 8 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

Posted on Jun 08 ,00:05

Value growth for salmon and trout contributed to solid seafood exports in May

"The growth in value in May is largely due to increased export volumes of both salmon and trout, as well as price growth for salmon", says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Best May ever for seafood exports

In the first four months of the year, the Norwegian krone was weaker than in the corresponding months last year, which boosted export prices measured in Norwegian kroner. This has now changed.

“In May, the Norwegian krone strengthened, so there was no positive currency effect last month. Despite this, the value of Norwegian seafood exports has never been higher in a month of May before. Although these are challenging economic times for many consumers, Norwegian seafood is still a highly sought-after food product", says Chramer.

Three EU countries had the highest growth

In May, Norway's largest and most important market, the EU, saw value growth of five per cent. This is also where the three countries with the highest growth in May are located:

  • Spain (+NOK 142 million, +19%)
  • Portugal (+NOK 132 million, +22%)
  • Netherlands (+DKK 115 million, +15%)

So far this year, Norway has exported seafood worth NOK 68.5 billion. This is NOK 1.2 billion, or 2 per cent, higher than in the same period last year.

Salmon exceeded NOK 10 billion in export value

Salmon is still by far the largest and most important species.

“In May, there was growth in volume for the first time this year. This contributed greatly to the export value of salmon exceeding NOK 10 billion last month", explains Christian Chramer.

Exciting developments for trout

May was also a historic month for trout. Never has the value of this fish been higher in a single month.

"Although trout accounted for only five per cent of the total value of farmed salmonids in May, there was strong growth. This is an important contribution to the further development of this category, and it will be exciting to follow the development of trout throughout the year", says Chramer.

Lower volume for cod

For other species, cod stood out with a significantly lower export volume for both fresh and frozen cod.

“However, this is compensated by price growth for several fresh, frozen and conventional cod products compared to May last year", says Christian Chramer.

Seafood exports in May

  • The largest markets for Norwegian seafood exports in May were Denmark, Poland and the USA.
  • Seafood was exported to a total of 105 countries in May. This is 11 fewer than in May last year

Growth in volume and value for salmon

  • Norway exported 82,662 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 10.1 billion in May
  • The value increased by NOK 724 million, or 8 per cent, compared with the same month last year.
  • This is a growth in volume of 2 per cent
  • Poland, Denmark and Spain were the largest markets for salmon in May

At NOK 164 per kg, the price of fresh salmon fillets is at a record high, which is NOK 5 per kg higher than the previous record month of April 2023.

Increased share of fillets

May was the first month in 2024 to see growth in salmon volumes. At the same time, fillet exports continue to increase compared with last year. This applies to both volume and value", says Seafood Analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In terms of volume, fresh fillet increased by 35 per cent to 13,223 tonnes, while frozen fillet increased by 21 per cent to 5,836 tonnes.

"Converted into round weight, this means that the fillet share of salmon exports increased from 25 per cent last year to 30 per cent this year", explains Aandahl.

The export value of fresh salmon fillets increased by 40 per cent to NOK 2.2 billion, while exports of frozen fillets increased by 13 per cent to just over NOK 900 million.

Highest value growth in Spain

Spain saw the greatest growth in value in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 163 million, or 25 per cent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to Spain ended at 6,833 tonnes, which is 14 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“Salmon exports to Spain have developed very favourably. This is primarily driven by strong domestic consumption, but as the tourists have returned, we see that the volume of salmon is also increasing in the restaurant segment. This is a trend that we believe will continue, so we are optimistic", says Tore Holvik, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Spain.

Historically strong month for trout

  • Norway exported 5,561 tonnes of trout worth NOK 587 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 231 million, or 65 per cent, compared with the same month last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 83 per cent
  • Ukraine, USA and Thailand were the largest markets for trout in May

This is a record high export value for trout in a single month, NOK 20 million higher than the previous record month, which was in August 2023.

Ukraine had the highest value growth in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 93 million, or 538 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

The export volume to Ukraine ended at 1,174 tonnes, which is 470 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Highest growth for fresh whole trout

“While exports of trout fillets have increased, it is whole fish that has increased most for trout. Fresh whole trout has increased by 81 per cent in value, to NOK 413 million. This means that fresh whole trout accounted for 70 per cent of the value, compared with 64 per cent in May last year", says Seafood Analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Weak month for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 3,023 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 189 million in May
  • The value fell by NOK 52 million, or 22 per cent, compared with the same month last year
  • Volume fell by 28 per cent
  • Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain were the largest markets for fresh cod in May

"With landings of fresh cod more than halving in May, it's no surprise that export volumes of fresh wild cod also fell sharply", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In May, the export volume of fresh wild cod fell by as much as 45 per cent to 2,038 tonnes, while the export value fell by 39 per cent to NOK 130 million.

Every third cod comes from aquaculture

For fresh farmed cod, the export volume increased by 90 per cent to 985 tonnes, while the export value increased by 128 per cent to a total of NOK 58 million.

"As a result, farmed cod accounted for as much as 33 per cent of the export volume of fresh cod in May", explains Brækkan.

For wild cod, the transit country Denmark was, as usual, the largest destination country, followed by the Netherlands and Sweden. Of these, Sweden had the smallest decline in export volume. It was 14 per cent, to a total of 80 tonnes.

The Netherlands was the largest recipient country

For farmed cod, the Netherlands was the largest destination country, with an export volume of almost 500 tonnes, a full 350 tonnes more than last year. Most of the volume to the Netherlands is processed and re-exported to other major fresh markets.

Cod market Spain was the second largest market for fresh farmed cod, with volume growth of 55 per cent to 274 tonnes last month.

Decline for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 4,536 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 296 million in May
  • The value fell by NOK 103 million, or 26 per cent, compared with the same month last year.
  • Volume fell by 37 per cent
  • China, the UK and Vietnam were the largest markets for frozen cod in May

For frozen cod, landings were more than halved in May, which has resulted in lower export volumes.

"After the UK became the biggest destination for frozen cod last year, China has now been our biggest destination for two months in a row", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Import ban may have affected exports

China saw the greatest growth in value in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 54 million, or 76 per cent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to China ended at 2,023 tonnes, which is 20 per cent higher than the same month last year.

"The US import ban on Russian cod processed in third countries may have contributed to increased demand for Norwegian cod in China, for processing and re-export to the US market," says Brækkan.

Volume to Vietnam has doubled

Vietnam also saw significant growth in May.

“An export volume of 700 tonnes is more than double that of May last year, and so far, this year Vietnam is the destination country with the highest growth in export value. Much of this volume will probably also end up as fillet products in the US market", explains Eivind Hestvik Brækkan.

Solid May for clipfish

  • Norway exported 6,779 tonnes of clipfish worth NOK 527 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 194 million, or 58 per cent, compared to the same month last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 49 per cent
  • Portugal, Congo-Brazzaville and the Dominican Republic were the largest markets for clipfish in May

For saithe clipfish, the export volume ended at 3,798 tonnes, up 45 per cent from May last year. The export value ended at NOK 156 million, 26 per cent higher than last year.

For cod clipfish, the export volume was 2,355 tonnes, 60 per cent higher than last year. The export value was NOK 334 million, which is an increase of 90 per cent.

Portugal largest market

"Portugal is, as usual, the largest destination country, with 85 per cent of the export volume of cod clipfish in May", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Portugal had the highest value growth for clipfish in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 152 million, or 111 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

The export volume to Portugal ended at 2,095 tonnes, which is 81 per cent higher than the same month last year. Thus, the strong development for clipfish to Portugal continues.

Strong growth for clipfish from ling and tusk

So far this year, 6,610 tonnes of clipfish have been exported to Portugal, which is an increase of 22 per cent from last year.

"Although the vast majority of clipfish exported to Portugal is cod, there has also been significant growth in exports of clipfish from ling and tusk this year, with 53 and 144 tonnes of each species respectively, up from 37 and 23 tonnes in the same period last year", says Brækkan.

Good demand in Portugal

Portugal's economic growth is higher than elsewhere in the EU. There is still good growth in tourism and an improved economic outlook for the Portuguese consumer.

"Despite higher prices and lower quotas, demand in Portugal has been good so far this year. In the last month we have seen a noticeable increase in the price of bacalao for consumers in shops, so it will be exciting to follow the market going forward", says Trond Rismo, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Portugal.

Volume decline and value growth for salted fish

  • Norway exported 3,937 tonnes of salted fish worth NOK 386 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 12 million, or 3 per cent, compared with the same month last year.
  • Volume fell by 9 per cent
  • Portugal, Spain and France were the largest markets for salted fish in May

Strong demand for salted fish, particularly in Portugal, has helped to keep the export price of whole salted cod above NOK 100 per kg for three months in a row.

Two months in a row with record export values

"Even with a significant volume decline, there have now been two consecutive months with record-high export values for salted fish in a single month", says Seafood Analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Portugal had the highest value growth in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 6 million, or 2 per cent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to Portugal ended at 3,319 tonnes, which is 12 per cent lower than the same month last year.

Good stockfish month

  • Norway exported 226 tonnes of stockfish worth NOK 53 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 13 million, or 31 per cent, compared with the same month last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 47 per cent
  • Italy, Nigeria and Croatia were the largest markets for stockfish in May

Our largest stockfish market, Italy, saw the greatest growth in May, with an export volume of 126 tonnes and an export value of NOK 39 million. This is an increase of 48 per cent in volume and 46 per cent in value compared with May last year.

So far this year, the export volume to Italy has increased by 5 per cent, to a total of 965 tonnes.

Weak May for herring

  • Norway exported 8,935 tonnes of herring worth NOK 182 million in May
  • The value fell by NOK 10 million, or 5 per cent, compared with the same month last year
  • Volume fell by 24 per cent
  • Lithuania, Germany and Latvia were the largest markets for herring in May

May is the start of the North Sea herring fishery, and this year it started in week 21, compared to week 18 last year.

"Despite a great deal of effort, the fishing has been weak, and with a lot of carrion in the fish, the quality has not been good enough for consumption. That's why most of it has been used for flour and oil - and not for export", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Head of Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

No matjes exports to the Netherlands

May is also the start of the matjes season, where the Netherlands is the most important market. However, no matjes herring was exported to the Netherlands in May this year.

"We must go back to 2018 to find the last time that happened", says Johnsen.

Good fillet month

The trend towards fewer exports of whole frozen herring continues, while it was a strong month for exports of fillets.

"A total of 6,600 tonnes of fillet were exported with a value of NOK 140 million, which is an increase of almost 20 per cent in volume and 41 per cent in value compared with the same period last year", explains Jan Eirik Johnsen.

In May, ICES published its quota recommendation for North Sea herring for 2025. The quota recommendation is 412,000 tonnes, which is a decrease of 22.5 per cent compared with this year's quota.

Mackerel exports were characterised by quota cuts

  • Norway exported 6,274 tonnes of mackerel worth NOK 160 million in May
  • The value fell by NOK 63 million, or 28 per cent, compared with the same month last year.
  • Volume fell by 36 per cent
  • Vietnam, Japan and Lithuania were the largest markets for mackerel in May

"May is the low season for mackerel exports, and with reduced quotas and fewer landings from foreign vessels, a decline in exports is to be expected", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Head of Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In the 2023/2024 season (August to date), 312,000 tonnes were landed, compared with 368,000 tonnes in the previous season. This is a reduction of 15 per cent.

Important negotiations with the UK

"The most exciting thing happening on the mackerel front is the negotiations between Norway and the UK on, among other things, Norwegian fishermen's ability to fish in British waters. Last year we reached the first post-Brexit agreement with the UK, where Norway exchanged 3.64 per cent of its quota (24,635 tonnes) for access to fish 60 per cent of the Norwegian quota in UK waters", says Jan Eirik Johnsen.

Fall in value and volume for king crab

  • Norway exported 118 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 61 million in May
  • The value fell by NOK 12 million, or 16 per cent, compared with the same month last year
  • Volume fell by 14 per cent
  • The US, Denmark and Hong Kong SAR were the largest markets for king crab in May

Despite a decline in volume and value compared to May last year, this year's May is strong compared to previous years.

Strong month for live king crab

"The reopening of the king crab fisheries has led to a strong month for live exports in particular. This is a record high value for a month of May, and only once before has a larger volume of live king crab been exported in May, and that was last year", says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Head of Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Until Russia begins its fishing season in September, Norway is now the only supplier of live red king crab.

Record high price per kilo

"Combined with strong demand and lower availability, this has led to a record-high price for live king crab of NOK 723 per kg, which is NOK 47 per kg higher than the previous record month of March 2024", explains Danielsen.

The majority of live exports have gone to the US, which has seen an increase of 82 per cent in terms of value compared to May last year.

Denmark saw the greatest growth in value in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 2 million, or 67 per cent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to Denmark ended at 9 tonnes, which is 94 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Good development for snow crab

  • Norway exported 446 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 59 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 29 million, or 97 per cent, compared with the same month last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 34 per cent
  • USA, South Korea and Japan were the largest markets for snow crab in May

In April, the Norwegian snow crab fishery was MSC-approved, which means that catches from 26 January this year can use the MSC label.

"The price of snow crab continues the positive trend it has shown so far this year, with the fourth consecutive month of growthIn May, the price increased by 47 per cent, or NOK 42 per kg, to NOK 132 per kg, compared with May last year", says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Head of Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Increased demand to Asia

Due to the sanctions in the West, virtually all Russian crab is exported to the Asian markets.

“Despite thisdemand in Asia for Norwegian snow crab was good in May, with growth of 92 per cent in value. 80 tonnes of frozen snow crab were exported to the transit market South Korea, which was the largest import market in Asia in May, at an average price of NOK 190 per kg", explains Danielsen.

A total of NOK 30 million was exported to South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and China.

USA is largest single market

"The USA is still the largest single market. It had the highest value growth in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 19 million, or 200 per cent, compared with the same month last year", says Marte Sofie Danielsen.

The export volume to the USA ended at 210 tonnes, which is 82 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Strong growth for prawn

  • Norway exported 5,138 tonnes of prawn worth NOK 205 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 93 million, or 82 per cent, compared with the same month last year.
  • This is a growth in volume of 265 per cent
  • Iceland, Sweden and Canada were the largest markets for prawn in May

There is good fishing in the Barents Sea, which has led to increased landings and increased exports of frozen, cooked shell prawn and frozen, raw industrial prawn.

This has led to a record high export value for prawn in a single month, NOK 11 million higher than the previous record month in March 2001.

Largest export volume in 24 years

"The world record is mainly volume-driven. We have to go back to June 2000 to find a larger export volume for prawn in a single month", says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Head of Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Growth for frozen industrial prawn and frozen cooked shell prawn

More than 3,000 tonnes of frozen industrial prawn have been exported, compared to nothing in May 2023.

"This has mainly gone to Iceland and Canada, both of which have reduced their quotas", explains Danielsen.

Iceland thus had the highest value growth in May, with an export value of NOK 35 million, compared with nothing the year before. The export volume ended at 1,739 tonnes.

"In addition, exports of frozen, cooked shell prawn have more than doubled, setting a record in terms of value for a single month. However, the price has fallen by around NOK 13 per kg compared with May last year", says Marte Sofie Danielsen.

Frozen, cooked shell prawn to a value of NOK 47 million were exported in May, most of which went to Ukraine, Denmark and Morocco.

Record month for fresh shell prawn

“Coastal fishing was also good in May, and fresh shell prawns had their strongest May ever, both in terms of volume and value. Exports totalled NOK 4.7 million more than the previous May record, which was last year", explains Danielsen.

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