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Price increases deliver export record for Norwegian seafood in April 2022

Press release -

Price increases deliver export record for Norwegian seafood in April 2022

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 11.3 billion in April. This is an increase of NOK 2.8 billion, or 33 per cent, compared with April last year.

In the first four months of this year, Norway exported seafood worth NOK 45.4 billion. This is a growth in export value of 25 per cent, or NOK 9.1 billion, measured against the first four months of 2021.

“Higher prices for our key species such as salmon, cod, trout and haddock are the biggest contributors to value growth this month”, says Børge Grønbech, Acting CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“There are several reasons for the high prices”, Grønbech explains, and lists:

• Global food prices are rising sharply, and this contributes to elevated prices for Norwegian seafood as well.

• There is a lower supply of the most popular seafood species, both from Norway and other countries.

• Reopening of hotels and restaurants increases demand from buyers willing to pay more.

• During the pandemic, more people learned to cook more seafood at home. This trend continues for several species, even after the reopening of society in key markets.

“It is still demanding to maintain a global retail trade. More expensive input factors, rising energy and fuel prices and more demanding logistics are some of the factors that contribute to this. Furthermore, it will be challenging to build markets with such fluctuating prices, even if Norwegian seafood is stable”, Grønbech concludes.

Record high salmon price following increased demand and lower accessible volumes

• 82,500 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 8.1 billion were exported in April.

•Export value increased by NOK 2.4 billion, or 43 per cent, compared with April last year.

• The volume of exports fell by 3 per cent.

• Poland, France and Denmark were the largest markets for Norwegian salmon in April.

“We´ve seen a record-breaking export month for salmon, as a result of a high salmon price. A higher average salmon price has never been measured in a single month. There is a lower production volume globally in combination with a growth in demand that drives the price upwards”, says Paul Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The decline in processing in Poland continues in April, while volumes are increasing to important markets such as France, Italy, the USA and the United Kingdom. High shipping costs to Asia remain a challenge, and this is reflected in lower export volumes to South Korea and Japan.

In Germany, Spain, France and Italy, there are slightly fewer households eating salmon at home than last year. Compared to before the pandemic, however, domestic consumption is increasing in all countries. This shows that many new salmon eaters continue to cook and eat salmon at home, even with the return of restaurants post-pandemic.

High price for trout

• 3,400 tonnes of trout worth NOK 317 million were exported in April.

• The value of exports increased by NOK 74 million, or 31 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Export volume fell by 9 per cent.

• Thailand, the USA and Japan were the largest markets for Norwegian trout in April.

“The trout price follows the salmon price in the big picture. Despite the negative development in trout exports to important trout markets such as Belarus and Ukraine, the average price for fresh whole trout was NOK 94.50 per kg in April. This was only 3 per cent lower than the average price for fresh whole salmon”, says Aandahl.

Lower volume of fresh cod

• Norway exported 7,700 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, worth NOK 363 million in April.

• Export value fell by NOK 19 million, or 5 per cent, compared with April last year.

• The volume of exports fell by 32 per cent.

• Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal were the largest markets for fresh cod from Norway in April.

“There has been a lower volume of fresh cod landed, resulting in lower export volumes in April. As usual, transit markets, from where fish are further re-exported, dominate the list of largest destination countries for fresh whole cod”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Marine Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“While Portugal uses most of the cod they import for clipfish production and own consumption, most of the exports to Denmark and the Netherlands are bound for further destinations. Either as whole fish or processed into fillets, to countries such as France, Spain, Italy and Germany”, Brækkan continues.

“Germany also stands out with growth in direct exports, with a volume of 400 tonnes, an increase of 92 per cent from last year, and an export value of NOK 20 million”, Brækkan explains.

Fresh cod still in demand

• Norway exported 714 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 36 million in April.

• Export value increased by NOK 4 million, or 12 per cent, compared with April last year.

• The volume of exports fell by 18 per cent.

• Denmark, Spain and the Faroe Islands were the largest markets for fresh cod from Norway in April.

Summary of the skrei season 2022

• Norway exported 4,600 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 243 million in the first 4 months of the year.

• Export value increased by NOK 49 million, or 25 per cent.

• The volume of exports fell by 2 per cent.

• Denmark, Spain and Sweden were the largest markets for fresh cod from Norway in the first four months.

• 14.4 per cent of exports of fresh whole cod this year have been cod, up from 12.3 per cent last year.

• The average export price for cod this year was NOK 53 per kg, up 28 per cent from NOK 42 last year. This is a record price for cod.

• The price difference between cod and other fresh whole cod was over NOK 9 per kg. In the years 2017 to 2019, the price difference was less than NOK 7 per kg, while last year it was record high and almost NOK 10 per kg.

As usual, Denmark, as an established transit market, is the largest destination according to export statistics. We know that most of the cod volume from there goes on to the largest cod markets in Spain, France and Germany.

“Although direct exports to Spain have fallen this year, there has been an increase in the supply of Norwegian cod coming via Denmark. We are experiencing an increase in demand and high volumes in this year's cod season, even with a higher price than last year”, says Bjørn-Erik Stabell, Seafood Envoy to Spain,

Record high export price of frozen cod

• Norway exported 6,300 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 323 million in April.

• The value of exports increased by NOK 12 million, or 4 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Export volume fell by 16 per cent.

• China, the United Kingdom and the United States were the largest markets for frozen cod from Norway in April.

“In April, we had the highest registered export price for frozen whole cod ever, with a price of NOK 47 per kg. This is NOK 3 per kg higher than the previous record price, which was quoted last month”, explains Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Marine Analyst.

“This is because there is a lower volume of cod from Iceland and Russia, which contributes to increased demand and increased prices for Norwegian cod. The USA stands out with continued growth, and more than doubles the export value from April last year, to a total export value of NOK 46 million”, says Brækkan.

Clipfish sees record export value

• Norway exported 5,900 tonnes of clipfish worth NOK 322 million in April.

• Export value increased by NOK 120 million, or 59 per cent, compared with April last year.

• There is an increase in export volume of 23 per cent.

• Portugal, Congo-Brazzaville and Brazil were the largest markets for Norwegian clipfish in April.

For clipfish, we have seen the highest export values for an April month ever. The export price of clipfish from cod is back at more than NOK 90 per kg, and thus on a par with the record prices we saw at the beginning of 2020. Portugal has a 54 per cent increase in export value, with NOK 109 million in April. The volume growth is 12 per cent to a total of 1200 tonnes.

We also see significant growth in Brazil and Congo-Brazzaville. To Congo-Brazzaville, the export volume of saithe clipfish increased by more than 50 per cent to 1,100 tonnes. Around 200 tonnes of cod clipfish went to Brazil. That is almost a tripling from April last year. Saithe clipfish to Brazil increased by 45 per cent to over 500 tonnes.

“A bright spot for Brazil is that the currency has strengthened significantly against both the dollar and Norwegian kroner this year. This makes it cheaper to import goods from abroad and helps to lift the demand for Norwegian clipfish”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan.

A record month for export values of salted fish

• Norway exported 4,900 tonnes of salted fish worth NOK 333 million in April.

• The value of exports increased by NOK 163 million, or 96 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Export volume increased by 38 per cent.

• Portugal, Spain and Italy were the largest markets for Norwegian salted fish in April

Also for salted fish, we have the highest export value in an April ever. We have to go back to March 2007 to find a higher export value for salted fish in a single month. As much as 90 per cent of the export volume, over 4,300 tonnes, went to Portugal.

“This is an increase of 47 per cent in volume. The export value of salted fish to Portugal is at a record high of NOK 301 million. That is more than a doubling from April last year. In Portugal, salted fish is mainly used for clipfish production”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Marine Analyst.

“Although this year's Easter was characterized by slightly fewer sales campaigns in the stores than in previous years, the increase in exports of both salted fish and clipfish to Portugal in April is a good sign of future development”, says Brækkan.

Quiet month for herring exports

• Norway exported 14,700 tonnes of herring worth NOK 224 million in April.

• The value of exports increased by NOK 20 million, or 10 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Export volume increased by 25 per cent.

• Egypt, Poland and Lithuania were the largest markets for Norwegian herring in April.

April is a calmer month for herring exports since fishing usually ends in early March. As for other species, the prices of herring in April this year are significantly higher than in the same month last year. The price of whole frozen herring was NOK 9.76 per kg compared with NOK 8.78 per kg last year, an increase of 11 per cent. For fillets, prices also increase, and here it is the fillets of North Sea herring that increase the most in small volumes.

Approximately 4,500 tonnes more whole frozen herring were exported in April this year compared with April 2021. This increase has mainly gone to Egypt. In April this year, 4,500 tonnes of whole frozen herring were exported to Egypt, compared with 1,100 in the same month last year. So far this year, exports to Egypt have more than doubled from 11,200 in the first four months of 2021 to 24,200 tonnes in the same period this year. This was due to increased demand in the market, but is also a result of a smaller supply of pelagic fish from Asia.

Exports of herring to Ukraine and to Lithuania (of which the bulk were for Ukraine) were in April at the same level as in 2021. Direct exports to Ukraine were 500 tonnes compared to 450 tonnes in the same month last year, while exports to Lithuania were 1 700 tonnes, the same as the year before.

Decline in mackerel exports

• Norway exported 8,100 tonnes of mackerel worth NOK 157 million in April.

• The value of exports fell by NOK 11 million, or 7 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Export volume decreased by 20 per cent.

• Vietnam, China and South Korea were the largest markets for Norwegian mackerel in April.

“Mackerel exports are now entering a low season after the large volumes from the fishing season were exported from August to February. Good demand in the markets has meant that almost as large volumes, measured by round weight, have been exported as were landed in the 2021/2022 season”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“Demand is also reflected in prices that are at a high level. The average price of exported mackerel in April was NOK 19.44 per kg against NOK 16.66 per kg in the same month last year, an increase of 17 per cent”, Johnsen concludes.

Higher prices for king crab

• Norway exported 62 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 39 million in April.

• Export value fell by NOK 3 million, or 7 per cent, compared with April last year.

• April saw a decrease in export volume of 40 per cent.

• The USA, Japan and Denmark were the largest markets for Norwegian king crab in April.

“With protection and a halt in fishing in the quota-regulated area in April, challenging logistics for individual markets in Asia and a lot in stock in the US, the decline in king crab exports will continue this month as well.

The export value is only down 7 per cent as a result of increased export prices compared to the same period last year”, says Josefine Voraa, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“The positive growth in exports of live king crab to the USA and Canada continues in April, with an increase in value of NOK 9 million. Exports to Asia remain challenging, and exports are declining by NOK 12 million compared with April last year. For frozen king crab, there is a shift in exports from the US as a consumer market and over to Japan”, Voraa explains.

Complicated market situation for snow crab

• Norway exported 797 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 141 million in April.

• The value of exports increased by NOK 20 million, or 17 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Exports increased in volume by 5 per cent.

• Denmark, Japan and the USA were the largest markets for Norwegian snow crab in April.

“Continued good fishing and high landings resulted in increased export volumes in April compared to last year. The value increases by 17 per cent as a result of the export price being 11 per cent higher than in April last year. But for the fourth month in a row, the export price of frozen snow crab is falling”, says Josefine Voraa, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

"High inventories in the largest and highest paying market, the USA, together with increased snow crab quotas in Canada and a lot of Russian snow crab in Asia have led to the market situation for snow crab being far more complicated than it was at the same time last year," says Voraa.

Decrease in volume and value for prawns

• 733 tonnes of prawns worth NOK 60 million were exported in April.

• Export value fell by NOK 6 million, or 9 per cent, compared with April last year.

• Export volume decreased by 19 per cent.

• Sweden, the United Kingdom and Finland were the largest markets for Norwegian prawns in April.

“For the second month in a row, there is a decline in the export value of prawns. The decline is primarily due to a decline in frozen, peeled prawns to our core markets Great Britain, Sweden and Finland. Increased export prices for more prawns products as well as increased exports of prawns to Japan and the Netherlands, on the other hand, help to increase the export value, which means that it only ends up 9 per cent down on April last year, despite this year´s export volume being down 19 per cent”.

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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

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Dag Sørli

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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
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