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Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Press release -

Norway has exported NOK 109 billion worth of seafood so far this year

Norway exported NOK 109 billion worth of seafood in the first nine months of the year. It is a new record, with a growth of 29 per cent, or NOK 24.3 billion, compared to the same period last year.

"The growth in value for Norwegian seafood exports has been impressive this year, and in September, we passed the NOK 100 billion mark. Historically high prices are one of the reasons why the third quarter produced the highest ever export value for Norwegian seafood, says Christian Chramer, the CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

"The record-breaking value for the first nine months of the year confirms the seafood industry's position as the country's second most important export industry. The whole of Norway can benefit from the activity and value created along our coastline. The government has set a target of at least a 50 per cent increase in Norwegian exports, excluding oil and gas, by 2030. This year's export figures show that the seafood industry will be an important contributor to achieving this target", says Bjørnar Skjæran, Fisheries and Oceans Minister.

The best quarter ever

In the third quarter of 2022, Norway exported NOK 39 billion worth of seafood, the highest value ever in a quarter. The previous record was NOK 36.1 billion, set in the fourth quarter of 2021.

"Norwegian seafood has maintained its strong global position both through the corona pandemic and the demanding times we find ourselves in now. Increased production costs, challenging logistics and soaring food inflation in our most important markets have raised seafood prices. Still, at the same time, we are facing uncertain times when purchasing power weakens, and markets are changing rapidly", says Chramer.

Salmon accounts for 72 per cent of the value in the third quarter

Of the species, salmon is still the export engine. It accounted for 72 per cent by value and 49 per cent of the total export volume in the third quarter. Export value increased by NOK 6.5 billion compared to last year, or 30 per cent.

"In the EU market, home consumption of salmon is falling, but here the restaurants take an increasingly large share, which compensates for the decline in the grocery trade", says Christian Chramer.

Challenges

The whitefish category and mackerel can also show strong growth. The export value for frozen cod and rockfish has never been higher in the third quarter, while there was a value record for pelagic species in September.

"However, there are challenges in other parts of seafood exports. This year, dry fish has a weak development, and there is a decrease in volume for fresh and frozen cod fillet products", says Christian Chramer.

September was a record month.

September was the strongest single month ever for Norwegian seafood exports, with an export value of NOK 15.1 billion. An increase of 27 per cent, or NOK 3.2 billion, compared to September last year. The previous record for a single month was March this year with NOK 12.5 billion.

Strong salmon growth

  • Norway exported 355,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 28 billion in the third quarter.
  • The value increased by NOK 6.5 billion, or 30 per cent, compared to last year's third quarter.
  • There is a growth in the export volume of 2 per cent.
  • The most important salmon markets in the third quarter were Poland, Denmark and France.

The export record for salmon has broken again, thanks to solid growth in the salmon price. The average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 71.80 per kg, which is 26 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

Increased further processing

"In addition to the high salmon price, increased further processing also contributes to the growth in the export value. While the export value for fresh whole salmon increased by 26 per cent, the development for fresh fillets was 32 per cent and for frozen fillets by 61 per cent", says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In relative terms, exports to North America increase the most, by 66 per cent to NOK 2.5 billion. Salmon worth NOK 20.3 billion was exported to the EU in the third quarter, while the export value to Asia amounted to NOK 4.8 billion.

Poland is the most significant growth market

In terms of absolute increase, Poland was the most significant growth market, with well over NOK 1 billion in growth, ahead of the USA, which increased by NOK 887 million.

"The restaurant market is still doing well after the reopening of communities after the corona pandemic. While the volume of salmon for home consumption is weakening, the restaurant segment accounts for an increasing proportion of the salmon sold. This has contributed enormously to growth this year", says Aandahl.

Strong September

Salmon exports in September show the same trend. Here, too, there is an increase in value:

  • 142,000 tonnes of salmon with NOK 10.4 billion were exported.
  • The value increased by NOK 2.7 billion, or 34 per cent, compared to September last year.
  • There is a growth in the volume of 6 per cent.

Historic quarter for trout exports

  • In the third quarter, Norway exported 16,537 tonnes of trout with a value of NOK 1.5 billion.
  • The value increased by NOK 307 million, or 26 per cent, compared to last year's third quarter.
  • The volume fell by 14 per cent.
  • The most important trout markets in the third quarter were the USA, Lithuania and Thailand.

For trout, the third quarter was the strongest, and like salmon, further processing for this species is also increasing.

Lithuania is increasing the most.

"While the export of trout increased by 26 per cent in value in the third quarter, the export of fresh trout fillets increased by as much as 50 per cent in the same period", says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The biggest growth market for trout in the third quarter was Lithuania, with an increase of NOK 166 million.

Decrease in September

In September, there was a decline in both volume and value for trout.

  • 6,100 tonnes of trout worth NOK 505 million were exported in September.
  • The volume fell by 8 per cent.
  • Export value fell by NOK 85 million, or 20 per cent, compared to September last year.

Fall in value for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 5,200 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 280 million in the third quarter.
  • There is a decrease in export volume of 27 per cent.
  • The export value fell by NOK 8 million, or 3 per cent in the same period.
  • Denmark, Sweden and Germany were the largest recipients of fresh cod from Norway in the third quarter.

"The export volume to all the most significant destination countries fell in the third quarter. A significantly lower landing volume contributes to a decrease in the export volume. At the same time, higher prices mean that the export value is almost at the level of the same period last year", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Decrease in volume and value in September

In September, there was also a decline in both volume and value.

  • 1,100 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 67 million were exported in September.
  • There is a decrease in export volume of 54 per cent.
  • The value fell by NOK 34 million, or 33 per cent, compared to September last year.

Record quarter for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 14,600 tonnes of frozen cod to a value of NOK 809 million in the third quarter.
  • There is an increase in the export volume of 11 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 279 million, or 53 per cent, in the same period.
  • China, Great Britain and Poland were the largest recipients of frozen cod from Norway in the third quarter.

"The export value of frozen cod has never been higher in the third quarter. The landing volume of frozen cod increased in the third quarter, which resulted in a higher export volume. However, the record high export prices are the main contributor to the substantial increase in export value", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Growth to Great Britain and China

China and Great Britain stand out as the growth leaders in export volume in the third quarter, with an increase of 27 and 45 per cent respectively, or 1,300 and 1,000 tonnes. Both frozen whole cod and frozen fillet to the UK are increasing in volume, while towards China we see growth for frozen whole cod and frozen edible by-products.

"In the UK, costs for consumers and businesses are increasing, which requires hard prioritising. Despite this, Norwegian cod is still strong in our largest market for frozen white fish", says Victoria Braathen, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to the UK.

The export value increased by 28 per cent in September.

In September, there was a volume decline but growth in value.

  • 4,400 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 251 million were exported in September.
  • There is a decrease in export volume of 8 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 55 million, or 28 per cent, compared to September last year.

The best quarter ever for clipfish

  • Norway exported 21,000 tonnes of clipfish to a value of NOK 1.4 billion in the third quarter.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 6 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 295 million, or 26 per cent, in the same period.
  • Portugal, Brazil and Congo-Brazzaville were the most important recipients of clipfish from Norway in the third quarter.

The export value of clipfish has never been higher in the third quarter.

"A lower export volume is compensated by record high export prices for clipfish of both pollock and cod. Portugal is, as usual, the largest market and has the same export volume as the third quarter of last year", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

High prices may dampen consumption.

High prices for clipfish in shops may put a damper on consumption in Portugal in the future, but the country is set to have the highest economic growth in the EU this year.

"We also see continued growth in tourism, with the highest number of overnight stays in August. However, the outlook for 2023 is characterised by expectations of continued high inflation and lower economic growth", says Trond Rismo, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Portugal, .

Growth in September

  • 9,200 tonnes of clipfish were exported to a value of NOK 654 million in September.
  • There is an increase of 2 per cent in export volume.
  • The value of exports increased by NOK 193 million, or 42 per cent, compared to September last year.

Price increase for salted fish

  • Norway exported 3,800 tonnes of salted fish to a value of NOK 112 million in the third quarter.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 11 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 38 million, or 19 per cent, in the same period.
  • Portugal, Italy and Canada were the most important recipients of salted fish from Norway in the third quarter.

The export volume of salted fish fell in the third quarter, but a significant price increase has also increased the export value.

Good development for Canada and Spain

"The volume fell to both Portugal and Italy in the third quarter. Italy has also seen a decline in volume this year, but Portugal can show volume growth of 36 per cent in the first nine months of the year. Canada and Spain continue to grow and had an increase in export volume of 12 and 61 per cent respectively, or 50 and 90 tonnes in the third quarter», says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Volume reduction in September

  • 1,600 tonnes of salted fish to a value of NOK 112 million were exported in September.
  • There is a reduction in the export volume of 26 per cent.
  • The value was at the same level as in September last year.

A weak quarter for dried fish

  • Norway exported 580 tonnes of dried fish to a value of NOK 113 million in the third quarter.
  • There is a decrease in export volume of 40 per cent.
  • The value fell by NOK 39 million, or 26 per cent, in the same period.
  • Italy, the USA and Nigeria were our most important recipients of dried fish from Norway in the third quarter.

"While dried fish prices have increased less than conventional products this year, they had a significant jump in September. Last month, the export price of the quality mark "Lofoten dry fish" reached a record high of NOK 244, NOK 8 higher than the previous record month, which was in December 2019", says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan.

Fall in volume and value in September

  • 346 tonnes of dried fish worth NOK 71 million were exported in September.
  • The export volume fell by 25 per cent.
  • The value fell by NOK 5 million, or 7 per cent, compared to September last year.

Growth in value for herring

  • Norway exported 43,000 tonnes of herring worth NOK 666 million in the third quarter
  • The export volume increased by 15 per cent.
  • The export value increased by NOK 132 million, or 25 per cent, in the same period.
  • Germany, Poland and Lithuania were the most important markets for Norwegian herring from Norway in the third quarter.

The third quarter is the quarter with the lowest export of herring. Many North Sea herring are landed from foreign boats that fish in British waters and from which herring roe and fillet are produced.

Increased landings

"In the third quarter, 77,000 tonnes were landed, compared to 26,000 tonnes in the same period last year. Most of this was landed in September and has not yet been exported", says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The increase in volume and value in the third quarter is mainly due to increased exports of herring fillets to Lithuania, Poland, Belarus and the Netherlands.

Good year for herring

Herring prices have been increasing for a long time, but now they have stagnated for several products. At the same time, prices are, on average, 9 per cent higher than in the same period in 2021.

"So far this year, NOK 2.48 billion worth of herring has been exported. The highest that has been recorded since 2012", says Johnsen.

The quotas for 2023 have been set.

On 1 October, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) published its quota advice for next year's Norwegian spring-spawning herring (NVG). The figure is 511,171 tonnes, against 598,588 tonnes for the current year, a decrease of 15 per cent. Earlier this year, ICES published the quota council for North Sea herring, which is 414,886 tonnes, down from 532,183 tonnes for 2022, a decrease of 22 per cent.

Growth for herring in September

In September, there was growth in both export volume and value.

  • 16,400 tonnes of herring worth NOK 287 million were exported in September.
  • There is an increase in the export volume of 20 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 55 million, or 24 per cent, compared to September last year.

Value gains for mackerel

  • Norway exported 118,000 tonnes of mackerel to a value of NOK 163 million in the third quarter of the year.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 21 per cent compared to the same period last year.
  • The value increased by NOK 32 million, or 24 per cent, in the same period.
  • China, Japan, and Egypt were the largest recipients of Norwegian mackerel from Norway in the third quarter of the year.

Until last year, the third quarter was the low season for mackerel exports. The catching season usually did not start until the end of September, with a peak in exports in October and November.

Brexit has brought changes.

"After Brexit, Norwegian boats no longer have the opportunity to fish in British waters, resulting in the Norwegian fleet starting mackerel fishing much earlier. August and September have thus become essential export months for mackerel, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In the third quarter, 235,000 tonnes of mackerel were landed, compared to 221,000 tonnes in the same period last year, an increase of 6.3 per cent. The decline in exports in the same period is that 55,000 tonnes more mackerel were caught in September this year, which has not yet been exported.

Increase to Asia

"The markets report continued good demand for Norwegian mackerel. Asia is Norway's most important region for mackerel exports, and here we see an apparent increase in the third quarter compared to 2021. Per Jan Eirik Johnsen, a total of 70,000 tonnes were exported to Asia in this period, an increase from 60,000 tonnes, or 17 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Corona affected exports to Japan

Japan is Norway's most crucial mackerel market, and here growth was 30 per cent in the third quarter. The country has only recently removed many corona restrictions.

"With the weakened currency, increased living costs and more workers back in the offices, the focus is growing on, among other things, economically sensible lunch dishes, and here the Norwegian mackerel stands strong. It also experiences good demand in grocery stores, as the price increase has been more modest than other products, says Johan Kvalheim, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Japan.

Value growth in September

  • 80,700 tonnes of mackerel with a value of NOK 225 million were exported in September.
  • There is a reduction in exports of 22 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 17 million, or 1 per cent, compared to September last year.

The quota advice from the International Marine Research Council for mackerel for 2023 is set at 782,066 tonnes, down by 2 per cent from 794,920 tonnes this year.

A decline in king crab exports

  • Norway exported 474 tonnes of king crab to a value of NOK 255 million in the third quarter.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 39 per cent.
  • The export value fell by NOK 98 million, or 28 per cent, in the same period.
  • The USA, Hong Kong SAR and South Korea were the largest recipients of king crab in the third quarter.

We have to go back to 2014 to find lower export volumes of king crab in the third quarter.

"But as export prices for both frozen and live king crab remain at a stable high level, the fall in value is lower than the decline in volume. A weak krone against the dollar also helps to reduce the fall in value", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Reduced volume to Asia

Increased imports of Russian king crab in China, Japan and South Korea and still challenging live logistics have decreased the export volume to Asia in the third quarter by 53 per cent.

"To North America, on the other hand, the growth in live products is more significant than the fall in frozen products, which means that total exports increase by 27 per cent in the third quarter", says Voraa.

Value increase in September

In September, the volume was at the same level as in 2021, while the export value increased.

  • 178 tonnes of king crab with a value of NOK 93 million were exported in September.
  • The export volume is at the same level as September last year.
  • The export value increased by NOK 6 million, or 7 per cent, compared to September last year.

A demanding quarter for snow crab

  • Norway exported 463 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 66 million in the third quarter.
  • There is a decrease in export volume of 48 per cent.
  • The export value fell by NOK 145 million or 69 per cent in the same period.
  • The USA, Vietnam and Denmark were the biggest recipients of snow crab in the third quarter.

With more supply than demand for snow crab globally, the market situation for frozen snow crab is more challenging than it was at the same time last year, with a decrease in export volume of 48 per cent in the third quarter.

A substantial decline in exports to the USA

"To the largest consumer market, the USA, exports in the third quarter fell by 57 per cent in volume and 77 per cent in value. In addition, less has been exported to the Netherlands and Denmark, which act as transit markets for snow crab to Asia and the USA", says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Good prawn fishing resulted in a high export volume

  • 8,300 tonnes of prawns worth NOK 372 million were exported in the third quarter.
  • The volume increased by 144 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 147 million, or 66 per cent, in the same period.
  • The biggest recipients were Iceland, Sweden and Great Britain.

Good prawn fishing in the Barents Sea led to the highest export volume of prawn in the third quarter since 2005.

"While the export volume increased by 144 per cent, the export value increased by 66 per cent. This is because 5,113 tonnes of prawn exports were frozen raw prawn that went to Iceland and had a lower export price than more processed products, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Good demand for the UK

The UK, Sweden and Finland are the three biggest markets for frozen peeled prawns, which make up the largest share of the export value.

"Demand in the UK market continues to be good, with a volume increase in the third quarter of 59 per cent and an increase in the export price of 14 per cent. For Sweden and Finland, on the other hand, there is a decrease of 36 per cent and 15 per cent respectively in export volume. The decline in the two markets is greatest for frozen, peeled prawns under 2 kg", says Josefine Voraa.

Growth in September

  • In September, 3,800 tonnes of prawns were exported to a value of NOK 154 million.
  • There is an increase in the export volume of 115 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 56 million, or 57 per cent, compared to September last year.

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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