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Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Press release -

Norwegian seafood exports reach a historic milestone in November

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 12 billion in November. This is an increase of NOK 2.6 billion, or 28 per cent, compared with November last year. So far this year, seafood has been exported for NOK 108.8 billion. This milestone breaks the annual record from 2019 of NOK 107.2 billion.

“Although we still have major challenges with the corona pandemic both at home and abroad, we are experiencing a growth in demand compared with November last year. This applies to important species such as salmon, cod, trout, saithe and king crab”, says Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Minister praises achievement

The existing record for export value held since 2019 was smashed last Friday, following a banner November in which the export value in the first three weeks of November averaged NOK 2.7 billion. The last week was even stronger.

“There are many skilled professionals along the entire coast who have contributed to the industry's impressive export record. With high demand for Norwegian seafood, good prices and the Christmas season ahead of us, I believe that we will have a strong end to this record year 2021”, says Bjørnar Skjæran (Labor), Minister of Fisheries and Marine Affairs.

Hitting the spot

With a normal export value in December, the annual record from 2019 will be beaten by around NOK 10-11 billion, Renate Larsen believes.

“This is happening despite the fact that both 2020 and 2021 are very challenging. When we still set a new value record after the first 11 months of the year, it shows that Norwegian seafood hits well in the market demand, says Renate Larsen.

Better equipped

The spread of the new virus variant omikron has marked the beginning of December. Larsen is uncertain whether it will affect Christmas sales of seafood.

“We do not believe that a possible new shutdown will affect demand as dramatically as at the start of the corona pandemic. Many people have learned to make seafood at home at the same time as new shopping patterns have been established with online shopping and increased use of home delivery. This makes fresh seafood products better equipped than at the start of the pandemic when the fresh fish counters in several countries closed down”, says Renate Larsen.

A new monthly record for salmon

  • 127,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 8 billion were exported in November.
  • Export volume increased by 19 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 2.3 billion, or 40 per cent, compared with November last year.
  • Poland, France, and Denmark were the largest markets for Norwegian salmon in November.

“The strong development that we have seen for salmon exports this autumn continues in November with a new monthly record in value. In export volume, this is the third highest ever, only beaten by September and October this year”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Strong growth to Thailand

Most markets have seen a strong increase in export volume and value as a result of continued high sales to the grocery trade. At the same time, the consumption of salmon in restaurants has increased compared to last year.

“Thailand is a market that is worth highlighting this month. In November, Norway exported salmon worth NOK 145 million, which is a growth of as much as 92 per cent. Export volume totalled 2,400 tonnes, an increase of 47 per cent compared to the same month last year”, says Paul T. Aandahl.

Record for trout

  • 6,600 tonnes of trout worth NOK 427 million were exported in November.
  • Export volume increased by 6 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 102 million, or 31 per cent, compared with November last year.
  • Belarus, Japan and the USA were the largest markets for Norwegian trout in November.

The export value for trout in November is the highest recorded. It is 2 per cent higher than in the previous record month, which was in September this year.

Volume growth for the first time this year

“Export volume has varied a lot in recent years. In November, there was a volume growth of 6 per cent compared with the same month last year. This is the first time this year that we see an increase. Compared with the record month in April 2016, the volume was still 17 per cent lower”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Growth for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 2,600 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, worth NOK 125 million in November.
  • Export volume increased by 34 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 32 million, or 35 per cent, compared with November last year.
  • Denmark, Sweden and Germany were the largest markets for fresh cod from Norway in November.

“The growth in exports of fresh fillets to Sweden continues, with a volume growth of 72 per cent last month and a growth so far this year of 60 per cent”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Also growth for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 8,100 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 351 million in November.
  • This represents an increase in export volume of 16 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 67 million, or 24 per cent, compared with November last year.
  • The United Kingdom, Poland and China were the largest markets for frozen cod from Norway in November.

Exports of frozen fillets to the UK continue to grow. November´s total was 547 tonnes, which is 99 per cent higher than in the same month last year. Export value was NOK 41 million.

“So far this year, the export volume of frozen fillets to the UK has increased by 44 per cent. We also see that the number of restaurant visits in the UK since the reopening this summer continues to be significantly higher than before the corona pandemic”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Europe is the biggest export region

For frozen whole cod, the shift towards more exports to Europe, and less to China, continues. As much as 77 per cent of the exports of frozen whole cod in November went to the European market.

So far this year, 65 per cent of the exports of frozen whole cod have gone to Europe, which is a growth of 59 per cent compared to 2020, and 49 per cent compared to 2019.

“The proportion of frozen cod exported to China in the first 11 months of the year has decreased from 47 per cent in 2019 to 32 per cent this year. Higher transport costs for frozen seafood and corona-related import restrictions in China are the main reasons for this change, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Clipfish exports rise

  • Norway exported 9,200 tonnes of clipfish worth NOK 513 million in November.
  • This is an increase in export volume of 22 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 96 million, or 23 per cent, compared with November last year.
  • Portugal, the Dominican Republic and Brazil were the largest markets for Norwegian clipfish in November.

Clipfish exports of cod to Portugal continue to grow. In November, it increased by 435 tonnes, or 14 per cent. The export value to Portugal in November was NOK 264 million.

So far this year, the volume to Portugal is 7 per cent higher than last year, but still somewhat lower than in 2019.

Good development in exports to the Dominican Republic

“Export volume for saithe clipfish to the Dominican Republic increased by as much as 40 per cent in November. The export volume so far this year is now only 4 per cent lower than the record year 2020, while the export value has increased 1 per cent, or NOK 4 million, to NOK 471 million”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

There is a decline in the export of clipfish of both saithe and cod to Brazil last month, but for both species the volume so far this year is still higher than last year.

Saltfish growth

    • Norway exported 1,900 tonnes of salted fish worth NOK 108 million in November.
    • Export volume decreased by 8 per cent.
    • Export value increased by NOK 6 million, or 6 per cent, compared with November last year.
    • Portugal, Italy and Canada were the largest markets for Norwegian salted fish in November.

    “Exports of salted whole cod to Portugal fell 17 percent in November. To Italy, on the other hand, salted fish exports increased by 11 per cent, or 550 tonnes, last month”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

    Stockfish sales increase

    • Norway exported 689 tonnes of stockfish worth NOK 124 million in November.
    • There is an increase in export volume of 58 per cent.
    • The value increased by NOK 41 million, or 50 per cent, compared with November last year.
    • Italy, Croatia and Nigeria were the largest markets for Norwegian stockfish in November.

      “Stockfish export volume to Italy grew as much as 128 per cent, or 235 tonnes, to reach a total of 420 tonnes, with an export value of NOK 82 million in November. So far this year, the export volume of stockfish to Italy is 33 per cent higher than last year and only 3 per cent lower than in 2019”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

      Tightening demand for herring

      • Norway exported 52,700 tonnes of herring worth NOK 640 million in November.
      • Export volume fell by 2 per cent, compared with November last year.
      • Export value increased by NOK 50 million, or 8 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
      • Egypt, Poland and Lithuania were the largest markets for Norwegian herring in November.

      The strong demand for Norwegian herring in the markets continues. This is reflected in solid prices and higher volumes.

      Good development in prices

      “Only once before has the average price for herring been higher in November than this year. That was in 2016, but then the quota was only 40 per cent of what it is today. The average price of whole frozen herring was NOK 8.14 per kg in November against NOK 7.28 per kg in the same period last year. This is an increase of 23 per cent, at the same time as the quota this year increased by 24 per cent compared to last year”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Pelagic Species Manager with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

      Decline in mackerel exports

      • Norway exported 43,100 tonnes of mackerel worth NOK 764 million in November.
      • There is a decrease in export volume of 25 per cent compared to November last year.
      • Export value fell by NOK 165 million, or 18 per cent, compared with November last year.
      • South Korea, Japan and China were the largest markets for Norwegian mackerel in November.

      With a record-breaking start to the season and high export volumes in August, September and October, exports were expected to slow down somewhat in November.

      Record mackerel quota

      “At the same time, we see that there is very good demand for Norwegian mackerel. With a record quota of over 300,000 tonnes, prices have so far this year been below last year. In November, however, prices rose sharply and passed last year's prices by a good margin, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Pelagic Species Manager with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

      Solid growth to South Korea

      The average price of mackerel to the important Asian markets was NOK 18.35 per kg in November this year against NOK 16.21 per kg in the same period last year, an increase of 13 per cent. Exports to South Korea were particularly strong in November, with 14,400 tonnes.

      “In South Korea, we see a strong demand for Norwegian mackerel. This is due to increased home consumption through the corona pandemic. New sales channels such as online shopping have made Norwegian quality mackerel more accessible to Koreans. A decrease in own landings of mackerel has also contributed”, says Johan Kvalheim, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Japan and South Korea.

      A strong November for King Crab

      • Norway exported 155 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 116 million in November.
      • This represents a decrease in export volume of 11 per cent.
      • Export value increased by NOK 53 million, or 84 per cent, compared with November last year.
      • The USA, Denmark and Spain were the largest markets for Norwegian king crab in November.

      The strong development in demand for frozen king crab continues in November, with both volume and value increases for frozen.

      “A high willingness to pay in the American and European markets combined with a weak krone has led to another price record. An export price of NOK 865 per kg for frozen king crab from Norway is 40 per cent, or NOK 248 per kg, more than the export price last month”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

      New export record to USA

      Exports of king crab to the USA in November have broken all records, both in terms of volume and value.

      “82 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 68 million were exported. This is an increase in volume of 68 per cent, or 33 tonnes. Frozen king crab that accounts for the largest growth”, says Josefine Voraa.

      In value, the increase is as much as 238 per cent, or NOK 48 million, compared with November last year. For live king crab, there is also growth for the US market.

      Very high prices

      “There is little crab in the market now, and many importers want to secure crab for the Christmas season. Low supply and high demand mean that the prices are very strong. The export price of frozen king crab to the USA in November is approaching NOK 940 per kg. This is double the price in November last year”, says Anne-Kristine Øen, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to the USA.

      A positive development for prawn

      • There is an increase in the volume of 32 per cent.
      • Export value increased by NOK 7 million, or 10 per cent, compared with November last year.
      • Sweden, the United Kingdom and Iceland were the largest markets for Norwegian prawn in November.

      The increase in volume in November is due to increased exports of industrial prawn to Iceland, with an increase in the volume of 434 tonnes compared with November last year.

      Good demand

      “Exports of frozen, peeled prawn are on a par with last year, but the positive growth we have seen in the UK continues in November, with an increase in volume and value of 108 per cent and 130 per cent, respectively. The increase is driven by good demand for processed prawn products for the restaurant and domestic market”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

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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.

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      Martin Skaug

      Press contact Communications director +47 915 59 902
      Dag Sørli

      Dag Sørli

      Press contact PR Manager PR & Kommunikasjon +47 970 16 311

      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.

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