Skip to content
Photo credit: the Norwegian Seafood Council / Thomas Engström
Photo credit: the Norwegian Seafood Council / Thomas Engström

Press release -

Norwegian seafood exports continue to grow in value

Norway exported 182,000 tonnes of seafood with a total value of NOK 8.6 billion in August. Volume decreased by 4 per cent, while export value increased by NOK 678 million or 9 per cent, compared with August last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 1.6 million tonnes of seafood worth NOK 68 billion. Export volume fell by 10 per cent, while growth in value was NOK 4.5 billion or 7.2 per cent.

«The growth in value in August is largely driven by increased prices where a weak Norwegian krone has made an important contribution. At the same time, good demand in several markets is also an important factor. For example, we are experiencing increased demand from the Chinese market, both for Norwegian salmon and for mackerel. For whitefish, especially cod, we see that growth in value continues, and in August frozen cod and clipfish were particularly strong performers”, says Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, Director of Market Insight and Market Access with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Key highlights for August 2019:

  • Norwegian salmon had its strongest month so far this year, both in terms of value and volume. Only October 2018 saw higher single month export values, than August this year.
    • Norwegian salmon has seen strong demand in many markets, especially in Asia.
  • Norwegian king crab also broke records for a single month.
    • There has also been a significant growth in prices both in August and for this year as a whole.
    • King Crab is sold primarily in dollar markets, and a weak Norwegian kroner against the dollar is an important driver of the growth in prices.
  • Strongest August for cod
    • Frozen cod has elevated the trend with high levels of exports being maintained, and clipfish, in particular, has made a strong contribution in August.
  • Mackerel
    • High prices have been the main contributor to value growth in August. Prices have remained high since last autumn as a result of lower catches and the recommendation to reduce quotas for the current year.

Record August for salmon

Norway exported 104,000 tonnes of salmon with a value of NOK 6.2 billion in August. Growth in export volume was 5 percent. Export value increased by NOK 341 million or 6 percent compared to August last year. So far this year, 698,000 tonnes of salmon have been exported, worth NOK 46.5 billion.

We have never seen such large regional price differences as in August this year. While the average price for the EU was NOK 52.43 per kg, Asian markets were NOK 14.19 per kg higher and prices in North America were NOK 16.47 per kg higher. The continuing depreciation of the kroner against the dollar than against the euro is an explanation. In addition, increased demand from Asia for large salmon, which is greater than we can supply, may explain some of this difference”, says Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, Director of Market Insight and Market Access with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Driven by increased demand, we see continuing very positive growth for Norwegian salmon to China. More efficient trade means that more Norwegian salmon is now exported to China. Fresh whole salmon dominates the salmon trade and Chinese buyers have a marked preference for large salmon. This affects both available fish to the market and the price level of salmon to the Chinese market compared to other markets that accept salmon of different sizes”, says Victoria Braathen, Fisheries Envoy for the Norwegian Seafood Council in China.

While the average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 55.54 per kg in August 2018, it was NOK 54.48 per kg in August 2019. Poland, Denmark, and France were the largest recipients of salmon from Norway in August.

Volume growth for trout

In August, 5,808 tonnes of trout were exported with a value of NOK 325 million. Volume was up by 61 percent, while value increased by NOK 101 million or 45 percent, compared with August last year. So far this year, 55,000 tonnes of trout have been exported with a value of NOK 2.3 billion. Belarus, the United States, and Thailand were our largest trout markets in August.

Fresh cod is down whilst frozen cod sees gains

1,500 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillet, were exported with a value of NOK 74 million in August. Export value fell by NOK 16 million or 18 percent and volume fell by 40 percent in August. So far this year, 42,600 tonnes of fresh cod have been exported, with a value of NOK 1.8 billion. Denmark, Sweden, and Portugal are our largest market for fresh cod in August.

With the exception of January this year, August saw the highest prices (in Norwegian kroner) for fresh whole cod than in August this year, measured in Norwegian kroner. The price in August was NOK 40.9 per kg, which is an increase of 31 percent compared with August in 2018. Lower catches and a weak Norwegian kroner are probably the main explanation for that”, says Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council, Ingrid K. Pettersen.

In August, 5,500 tonnes of frozen cod were exported, worth NOK 226 million. There is a growth in volume of 14 percent, while the value increased by NOK 46 million or 25 percent. So far this year, 50,000 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 2.1 billion have been exported. China, the United Kingdom and Denmark were our largest frozen cod markets in August.

Clipfish increases in value

7,700 tonnes of clipfish were exported with a value of NOK 442 million in August. Volume remains at the same level as August 2018, while the value increased by NOK 96 million or 28 percent. So far this year, 55,000 tonnes of clipfish have been exported to a value of NOK 2.7 billion. Portugal, Brazil and Dominican Rep. were our largest clipfish markets in August.

The growth in August, both in volume and value, is in cod clipfish destined for Portugal. In August, the average price of codfish for cod was NOK 84.24 per kg, which is 15 percent higher this year than in August last year. Although a weak Norwegian krone is an important contributor to price inflation, it does not explain everything; for example, euro inflation was 11 percent. Another factor is the increased demand for clipfish, partly due to significantly lower salted fish volumes from Norway, as well as a positive development in consumer demand in Portugal”, says Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council, Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Reduced export volumes of salted fish

In August, 575 tonnes of salt fish were exported with a value of NOK 29 million. Export volumes fell by 34 percent, while export value fell by NOK 12 million or 30 percent. So far this year, 18,200 tonnes of salted fish have been exported to a total value of NOK 1 billion. Portugal, Italy, and Spain are our largest saltfish market in August.

Significant increase in export value for dried fish

In August, 386 tonnes of stockfish were exported with a value of NOK 61 million. Volume increased by 7 percent, while export value increased by NOK 16 million or 37 percent. So far this year, 2,400 tonnes of stockfish has been exported with a value of NOK 415 million. Italy and Nigeria were our largest stockfish market in August.

Cod stockfish has been the main contributor to the growth in value in August, in addition to tusk. Italy consumes most of the whole cod stockfish, and despite the volume reduction so far this year, we see significant value growth as a result of the high prices. The average price for whole cod so far this year has been NOK 200.32 per kg, which is an increase of 25 percent compared with the same period last year”, says Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council, Ingrid K. Pettersen.

Herring exports are down, but mackerel exports improve

12,500 tonnes of herring were exported with a value of NOK 148 million in August. This is a 36 percent reduction in volume, while export values fell by NOK 44 million or 23 percent. So far this year, 182,000 tonnes of herring have been exported, worth NOK 1.7 billion. Lithuania, Poland, and the Netherlands were our largest herring markets in August.

In August, 8,900 tonnes of mackerel were exported with a value of NOK 158 million. Export volume increased by 100 percent, while export value increased by NOK 95 million or 148 percent. So far this year, 86,000 tonnes of mackerel have been exported to a value of NOK 1.1 billion. China, Vietnam and Thailand were the largest markets for mackerel in August.

Although there has been a doubling in the volume of mackerel exports in August this year, this growth is from relatively low volumes. We anticipate the largest volumes of mackerel over the next two to three months when the mackerel season starts. It is, therefore, the growth in price that has mainly fuelled the growth in value this August. Prices have remained high since last fall as a result of lower catches and the recommended reduction of quotas for the current year", says Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council, Ingrid K. Pettersen. 

"As we now enter this year's season, we see that Norwegian mackerel exports to China are experiencing a marked increase. Mackerel to China is mainly used for processing and further export to markets such as Japan and Korea. At the same time, we are experiencing an increased interest in Norwegian mackerel in the Chinese market. Norwegian mackerel is aligned with consumer food trends in China with an increased focus on healthy and nutritious food and this shows considerable potential for increased consumption going forward”, says Victoria Braathen, Fisheries Envoy with the Norwegian Seafood Council in China.

Decrease in king crab exports, but increase in export volume of Norwegian shrimp

372 tonnes of king crab were exported with a value of NOK 115 million in August. This is a 20 percent reduction in volume, while export value fell by NOK 17 million or 13 percent. So far this year, 1,444 tonnes of king crab have been exported with a value of NOK 446 million, corresponding to a volume growth of 3 percent and a value growth of 11 percent. South Korea, China and the United States were our largest markets for king crab in August.

There has been a significant rise in prices both in August and for the year so far. King crab is sold primarily to the dollar market, and a weak Norwegian krone against the dollar is an important explanation for price growth. While inflation in the Norwegian kroner has been at 9 percent so far this year, inflation against the US dollar is approx. 2 percent”, says Frank Isaksen, Chief Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

1,100 tonnes of shrimp were exported with a value of NOK 88 million in August. This is an increase in volume of 34 percent, while the value increased by NOK 15 million or 21 percent. So far this year, 9,200 tonnes of shrimp have been exported with a value of NOK 688 million. Sweden, the United Kingdom and Finland are our largest shrimp market in August.

Each month in 2019, except for July, shrimp fishing has been at higher levels than the same months in 2018. The fact that more shrimp are being landed is correlated with lower cod quotas, and the high prices (due to reduced global supply) have given fishermen good Incentives to switch to fishing for shrimp” says Frank Isaksen, Chief Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.


Subjects

Tags


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

Tom-Jørgen Gangsø

Tom-Jørgen Gangsø

Director of Market Insight and Market Access +47 900 11 708
Ingrid Kristine Pettersen

Ingrid Kristine Pettersen

Market analyst Whitefish and conventional products