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3rd record year in a row for Norwegian whitefish exports

Press release   •   Jan 04, 2017 09:30 UTC

Norway exported cod, saithe, haddock and other whitefish worth NOK 13.8 billion in 2016. This is an increase of 6 per cent, or NOK 800 million from 2015.

”The Norwegian whitefish industry in 2016 experienced its third consecutive record year. Both in terms of primary value at nearly NOK 11 billion, and with whitefish exports totalling NOK 13.8 billion. The quotas have remained relatively stable over the past three years, however, we are seeing price increase for the major products. Currency effects have contributed to the record value, but to a lesser extent than in 2015. The growth has been strongest for fresh and frozen products, while conventional business has had a challenging year”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, an analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Decline for clipfish exports in 2016

Norway exported 80,754 tonnes of clipfish worth some NOK 3.7 billion in 2016. In terms of volume, this is a reduction of 8 per cent, or 6,746 tonnes, and in terms of value, this is a decrease of NOK 260 million or 6 per cent compared to the record year of 2015.

Norway´s clipfish exports totaled NOK 2.3 billion in 2016. This is a decline in volume of 6 per cent, but as we saw an increase of 6 per cent in export value, overall export statistics remained virtually unchanged from 2015.

Norway exported saithe clipfish worth NOK 1.1 billion in 2016. This is a reduction of 17 per cent compared with 2015.

The decline in clipfish exports was due to challenges in some of our most important clipfish markets. In Brazil, especially for pollock, there have been challenges related to market access and increased competition from other providers and species. Lower oil prices posed challenges in Angola, and a combination of civil conflicts and low purchasing power have adversely impacted exports to the two Congos.

25,167 tonnes of clipfish were exported to our main clipfish market of Portugal, with a commercial value of NOK 1.5 billion in 2016. This is an increase of 10 per cent from 2015.

Increase in value of salted fish exports

Exports of salted fish increased by NOK 69 million from 2015 to nearly NOK 1.2 billion in 2016. Portugal is still the main market for salted fish from Norway.

Challenges for stockfish

Norway exported stockfish products to a value of NOK 850 million in 2016. This is a decrease of NOK 125 million or 13 per cent from 2015. Exports of products of whole dried fish amounted to NOK 683 million in 2016, unchanged from 2015. The export value of dried fillet products was NOK 19 million in 2016 . This is a decrease of 32 per cent from 2015. The largest reductions were for dried heads and backs which were reduced by NOK 119 million, or 47 per cent from 2015.

”The main reason for the depreciation of stockfish products in 2016 were foreign exchange restrictions and higher tariffs on stockfish in our second most important export market, Nigeria. Exports declined by NOK 180 million or 49 per cent from 2015 to 2016, and the export of whole dried fish and dried heads were hardest hit”, says Pettersen.

Norway's most valuable dried fish market, Italy, saw export values grow by NOK 51 million or 13 per cent from 2015. This growth was mainly due to higher prices, while volumes remained stable.

New export records for fresh products

Norway exported fresh whitefish products worth NOK 3.2 billion in 2016. This is an increase of NOK 385 million or 14 per cent from 2015.

Exports of fresh saithe increased by 6,364 tonnes or 62 per cent to 16,698 tonnes with a value of NOK 258 million. This is an increase of 63 per cent from 2015. Most of the fresh saithe goes to Denmark and an increasing share is exported to Poland for processing and export.

Exports of fresh cod products increased by NOK 209 million or 11 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Prices also increased by 10 per cent. Norway exported fresh haddock products valued at NOK 405 million in 2016. This is a decrease of 7 per cent from 2015. The UK was the main export market for haddock in 2016 and it is also the market where the decline was greatest.

Increased export volumes for frozen whitefish products

Norway exported frozen whitefish products worth NOK 4.9 billion in 2016. That's an increase of NOK 634 million or 15 per cent from the year before. This is due to a volume increase of 26,539 tonnes or 16 per cent.

Norway exported 86,976 tonnes of frozen cod to a value of NOK 2.7 billion in 2016. This is an increase of NOK 577 million or 27 per cent from 2015. There was also an increase of over 50 per cent in exports of frozen haddock products from 2015 to 2016. While prices declined by 16 per cent, overall export values grew by 27 per cent to just over NOK 1 billion.

Following a reduction in exports of frozen products to China in 2015, exports are now increasing again. Norway exported frozen whitefish products to China worth NOK 1.6 billion in 2016. That's an increase of NOK 316 million or 25 per cent from 2015.

Exports of frozen whitefish products also increased to Lithuania and Poland, along with China, primarily to downstream markets. Lithuania and Poland in 2016 at increased their imports by 4,420 tonnes. The value of Norwegian exports of frozen groundfish products, primarily cod and haddock to the UK consumer market rose by 12 per cent in 2016. At the same time we see that exports to the US increased by 50 per cent in 2016, measured both by value and volume, totalling NOK 285 million.

The Norwegian Seafood Council works with the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industries to develop markets for Norwegian seafood through local market intelligence, market development and reputational risk management. The Seafood Council is headquartered in Tromsø and maintains local representatives in twelve of Norway's most important international markets. The Norwegian seafood industry finances the activities of the Norwegian Seafood Council via a tariff on all Norwegian seafood exports.

The Norwegian Seafood Council is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.

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