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Photo: Carlos Levitanus, Norwegian Seafood Council
Photo: Carlos Levitanus, Norwegian Seafood Council

Press release -

New export records and large cost increases

The value of Norwegian seafood exports has never been higher in a single month than in August. Last month, Norway exported NOK 12.5 billion worth of seafood. This is an increase of NOK 2.9 billion, or 30 per cent, compared to August last year.

So far this year, the export value of Norwegian seafood has grown by NOK 21.2 billion, or 29 per cent, to a total value of NOK 94 billion, compared to the first eight months of 2021.

Salmon is the export driver

”It is the particularly high volumes and prices for salmon that are driving export records in August. This is the best single month of all time for salmon measured in value, while there is an August record for pollock, trout, haddock and the entire whitefish category”, says Børge Grønbech, acting CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council,.

Demanding times

”At the same time, we are in a period of high inflation, lower purchasing power, challenging logistics and increased production costs. In addition, a strengthening of the krone against the euro, as we have seen in August, is a challenging factor for exporters. This means that we are still in challenging times in which to conduct global trade”, emphasizes Grønbech.

Domestic consumption of seafood falling

Compared to last year, home consumption of seafood is falling in Europe.

“This is to be expected since more people this year are traveling on holiday and eating their meals outside the home. So, more seafood goes to the hotel, restaurant, and canteen segment. These are important and well-paying purchasers of Norwegian seafood”, says Børge Grønbech.

Last month saw value growth for all three of the largest markets:

• North America: 59%

• Asia: 33%

• Europe: 29%

Export value as high in August as in the whole of 1990

“There is still great global demand for Norwegian seafood, and that is good news for Norway, both as a seafood and an export nation. If we compare the value of Norwegian seafood exports in August this year, they are equivalent to the entire export total of 1990. This illustrates how strong the development has been”, says Grønbech.

A record month for salmon

  • 120,700 tonnes of salmon with a value of NOK 9.2 billion were exported in August.
  • Export volume increased by 7 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 2.3 billion, or 34 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Poland, Denmark, and the USA were the biggest markets for Norwegian salmon in August.

“Demand for Norwegian salmon continues to increase. Although prices have fallen compared to earlier this year, salmon prices are at a record high for the month of August”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.


The Polish market is growing

The growth in export volume also contributes to the record-setting export value.

“The biggest growth in value was the Polish market, with NOK 366 million. There was also great growth towards other nations that process salmon, such as the Netherlands and Lithuania”, says Aandahl.

Value growth for trout

  • 5,400 tonnes of trout worth NOK 492 million were exported in August.
  • Export volume fell by 16 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 91 million, or 23 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • The USA, Armenia and Thailand were the biggest markets for Norwegian trout in August.

“Even though the export volume has fallen compared to the volume in August last year, the price increase for trout led to the strongest August month ever measured in value”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Changes in the flow of goods

The war in Ukraine has led to major changes in the flow of goods for trout.

“Belarus and Ukraine are the two markets which have seen the biggest drop in value for trout in August. The markets with the greatest growth are Lithuania and Kazakhstan”, says Aandahl.

Lower landings for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 1,600 tonnes of fresh cod including fillets to a value of NOK 88 million in August.
  • Export volume fell by 34 per cent.
  • Export value fell by NOK 6 million, or 6 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Denmark, Sweden, and Germany were the biggest markets for fresh cod from Norway in August.

Landings of fresh cod in August were significantly lower than in the same month last year, which also resulted in a lower export volume.

Growth to the UK

“Export volume decreased to all major destination markets, except for our fourth largest destination country, the United Kingdom. Here there was an increase of 14 tonnes, to a total of 131 tonnes, in August, consisting entirely of fresh whole cod”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The export price of fresh fillets has also reached an all-time high, at NOK 122 per kg, up from NOK 85 per kg in August last year, while the export volume fell from 221 to 189 tonnes.

Strong month for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 5,800 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 314 million in August.
  • Export volume increased by 67 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 171 million, or 120 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • China, Great Britain, and Poland were the biggest markets for frozen cod from Norway in August.

Largest increase to China

“The export price of frozen whole cod remains at a record high level, with a price of over NOK 54 per kilo for the third month in a row. The volume to all the largest destination markets is increasing sharply, with the greatest growth going to China, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Towards the UK, the strong increase in export volume from last month continues, totalling 1,400 tonnes in August, up from just 600 tonnes last year.

Value growth for clip fish

  • Norway exported 6,500 tonnes of clip fish to a value of NOK 418 million in August.
  • Export volume was reduced by 6 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 58 million, or 16 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Portugal, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic were the biggest markets for Norwegian rockfish in August.

The export volume to our largest rockfish market, Portugal, fell by 27 per cent, or 500 tonnes, to a total of 1,400 tonnes in August.

Exciting developments in Portugal

”The development in Portugal will be very exciting to follow in the future. The country has the highest economic growth in the EU, and it is likely that 2022 will be a record year for tourism. At the same time, high inflation means that many Portuguese people´s purchasing power is under pressure. Like most other foodstuffs, the prices of clip fish in the shops are also going up”, says the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Portugal, Johnny Thomassen.

Pollock clip fish increases the volume by 10 per cent, or 400 tonnes, to a total of 3,900 tonnes, while cod clip fish has seen a volume decrease of 32 per cent, or 900 tonnes, to a total of 1,800 tonnes.

Low volume for salted fish

  • Norway exported 957 tonnes of salted fish to a value of NOK 56 million in August.
  • Export volume increased by 8 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 13 million, or 31 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Portugal, Canada, and Italy were the biggest markets for Norwegian saltfish in August.

Continued growth to Canada

“August is traditionally a month characterized by low volumes for salted fish, and Portugal is also this month our biggest destination market. It is also worth noting that Canada continues to grow in salted fish of both cod and pollock”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The export volume of salted fish to Canada has increased by 80 per cent so far this year, to a total of 1,300 tonnes, with an export value of NOK 50 million, an increase from NOK 18 million at the same time last year.

Demanding month for dried fish

  • Norway exported 107 tonnes of dried fish to a value of NOK 19 million in August.
  • Export volume fell by 59 per cent.
  • Export value fell by NOK 22 million, or 54 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Italy, the USA and Nigeria were the biggest markets for Norwegian dried fish in August.

Record strong month for herring

  • Norway exported 14,000 tonnes of herring worth NOK 210 million in August.
  • Export volume increased by 24 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 68 million, or 48 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Germany, Poland and Lithuania were the biggest markets for Norwegian herring in August.

Exports of NOK 210 million for August have set a record. The previous one was NOK 192 million in 2018. In terms of volume, however, the record still stands at 30,000 tonnes which were set in 1997.

High prices

“Rising prices are driving the total export value up compared to last year. At the same time, it is reported that there is somewhat less demand in some markets and the prices of some products fell from July to August”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Increased consumption in Germany

In an important market such as Germany, the consumption of herring increased sharply during the pandemic, but fell back when the pandemic restrictions were lifted. Now, however, the signs are that consumption is on the way up again because of price increases for food and energy. Consumption in July increased by 7 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“If we look at exports to the various markets, there can be large variations from year to year. This is mainly related to the fact that most herring products are frozen products that can be stored, and that the catch pattern varies from year to year”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen.

Decline for mackerel

  • Norway exported 26,900 tonnes of mackerel to a value of NOK 464 million in August.
  • Export volumes saw a decrease of 20 per cent.
  • Export value fell by NOK 5 million, or 1 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • China, Egypt, and Japan were the biggest markets for Norwegian mackerel in August.

This year, as last year, there was a record early start for mackerel fishing due to a high quota and lack of access to fishing in the British zone.

Growth in exports to important Asian markets

“Whilst there are reports of variable quality, which is expected in the summer months, at the same time we see that there has been a lot of good quality mackerel. We also see this reflected in exports, where the quality-conscious Asian markets have got off to a good start. There is an increase in exports compared to last year for important markets such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

A good month for prawn

  • 2,200 tonnes of prawns worth NOK 108 million were exported in August.
  • Export volume increased by 134 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 39 million, or 56 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • Iceland, Sweden, and Great Britain were the biggest markets for Norwegian prawns in August.

So far this year there has been good prawn fishing in the Barents Sea with increased landings. This affects the export of frozen prawns in August.

Increased export of raw prawn

“Iceland was the largest recipient of Norwegian prawns, with 1,270 tonnes of frozen industrial prawns imported in August. Thus, the development that we have seen so far this year continues with increased exports of frozen raw prawns to the industry in Iceland”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Strong growth towards the UK

Exports of frozen peeled prawns increased by 2 per cent in volume and 14 per cent in value. The UK continues to be a strong market for frozen peeled prawns with an increase in exports of NOK eight million (+81%) and 86 tonnes (+65%) compared to August last year.

Exports to Sweden decreased by 29 per cent in volume and 17 per cent in value, respectively. The biggest decrease was for frozen peeled prawns under 2 kg.

Volume decline for king crab

  • Norway exported 191 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 103 million in August.
  • The volume of exports decreased by 41 per cent.
  • Export value fell by NOK 45 million, or 31 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • South Korea, Hon Kong SAR and the USA were the biggest markets for Norwegian king crab in August.

Demanding logistics towards Asia

“August is usually one of the best months for exports of Norwegian king crab. Demanding logistics to certain Asian live markets and a slower demand for frozen king crab means that export volume is down compared to previous years”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Continuing high prices

The export price for both live and frozen king crab remains at high levels. The export price for live catch in August was NOK 513 per kg, which is 17 per cent higher than in 2021 and 55 per cent higher than in 2020.

For frozen king crab, the export price in August was NOK 855 per kg, which is 56 per cent higher than in 2021 and 145 per cent higher than in August 2020.

Growth in value for snow crab exports

  • Norway exported 65 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 10 million in August.
  • Export volume increased by 102 per cent.
  • Snow crab export value increased by NOK 2 million, or 18 per cent, compared to August last year.
  • The USA was the largest market for Norwegian snow crab in August.

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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.

Press contacts

Martin Skaug

Martin Skaug

Press contact Communications director +47 915 59 902

Proudly representing Seafood from Norway

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.

Norwegian Seafood Council
Stortorget 1
9008 Tromsø
Norway