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Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council
Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Press release -

Robust growth for Norwegian seafood exports in February

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 11.3 billion in February. This is an increase of NOK 2.6 billion, or 30 per cent, compared with February last year.

“This is the highest value of Norwegian seafood exports ever registered in February. However, the war in Ukraine overshadows this. The dramatic situation affects us first and foremost strongly on the human level, but also affects the flow of seafood”, says CEO Renate Larsen of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Must sell to other markets
In February, Norway exported seafood worth NOK 176 million to Ukraine.

“After Russia's invasion of the country a week ago, seafood exports to Ukraine have stopped. This means that products such as salmon, trout, herring and mackerel that were to go to this country must now be sold to other markets”, says Renate Larsen.

Challenging logistics
She also points out that there are other sanctions that affect the trade in seafood.

“This entails several logistical challenges. Many airlines have, among other things, been banned from flying over Russia in recent times. This affects the flow of goods to Asia, especially for fresh and live products”, Larsen explains.

February was a record month

February was still a record month for Norwegian seafood exports. Here are some facts:

  • Poland was the largest recipient of Norwegian seafood in February. Norway exported 21,200 tonnes worth NOK 1.1 billion.
  • As in January, there was also a shift in exports from Europe to Asia in February.
  • Fresh cod achieved the highest export value ever in February.
  • Salmon prices were historically high, with an average price of more than NOK 82 per kg.

High prices to the Asian market
“Salmon remains the export engine, but February was also a good month for cod, trout, snow crab and a number of smaller species. Asia takes an increasing share of seafood from Norway. In some of the countries there, the salmon price has increased significantly compared to February last year”, says Renate Larsen.

A record month for salmon

  • 89,700 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 7.8 billion were exported in February.
  • The export volume fell by 5 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 2.5 billion, or 47 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Poland, France and the USA were the largest markets for Norwegian salmon in February.

February was a new record month for Norwegian salmon. The price for fresh whole salmon was on average NOK 82.64 per kg in February. This is 62 per cent higher than in the same month last year and 9 per cent higher than in the previous record month, which was in January 2020.

Increasing demand
“The market for salmon is still growing, even though the pandemic has not yet subsided. Lower volumes in combination with increased demand have led to record prices”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

For the second month in a row, France was the largest growth market for Norwegian salmon.

“This is a continuation of a positive trend from the second half of 2021. The growth must be seen in connection with the reopening of society and increased consumption in the restaurant market”, says Aandahl.

The strong trend in Italy continues

Norwegian salmon also had a strong month in Italy. The country was Norway's second largest growth market in February.

“While other countries in Europe are experiencing a decline in domestic consumption of salmon, there is still an increase in Italy. This is happening even though the restaurant sector has reopened, which testifies to the strong growth in demand from 2021 continuing this year as well”, says Gunvar L. Wie, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Italy.

Growth for trout

  • 4,000 tonnes of trout worth NOK 328 million were exported in February.
  • The volume increased by 2 per cent.
  • Export value increased by NOK 90 million, or 38 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • The USA, Thailand and Belarus were the largest markets for Norwegian trout in February.

In February, trout worth NOK 20 million was exported to Ukraine, and the country was in 7th place on the list of Norway's largest trout markets.

24 per cent of trout exports are to Ukraine and the Eurasian Union

“This accounts for 6 per cent of the total trout exports. If we add the countries of the Eurasian Union, which consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, it makes up a total of 24 per cent of trout exports. In comparison, the corresponding proportion for salmon is 2 per cent”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Record month for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 10,100 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, worth NOK 482 million in February.
  • Export volume fell by 7 per cent.
  • The value of exports increased by NOK 75 million, or 18 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal were the largest markets for fresh cod from Norway in February.

Fresh cod achieved the highest ever export value in February. It was 7 per cent higher than the previous record month, which was in 2018.

Four countries outperform

“The largest contribution to value growth is the fresh whole cod. Here, the export price was 29 percent higher than in the same month last year”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Exports of fresh fillets have also increased, both in volume and value, with a 17 per cent increase in export volume and a 28 per cent higher export value than in February last year.

“There is a strong growth in exports of fresh cod to several countries, with the largest increase in export value to the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and the United Kingdom”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan.

Open restaurants will lift demand

This year, the restaurants are open to anyone with a corona passport, and both grocery chains, magazines and influencers are concerned that the cod has arrived. Open restaurants will help lift the demand for fresh cod”, says Kristin Pettersen, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Germany.

Value-added for fresh cod

  • Norway exported 1,700 tonnes of fresh cod worth NOK 86 million in February.
  • Volume is unchanged from February last year.
  • The value increased by NOK 13 million, or 18 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Denmark, Spain and Sweden were the largest markets for fresh cod from Norway in February.

“As usual, the transit market Denmark is the destination for most of the cod exports. From Denmark, the cod goes on to other countries such as Spain, France and Germany”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Increase for frozen cod

  • Norway exported 7,700 tonnes of frozen cod worth NOK 347 million in February.
  • This is an increase in volume of 15 percent.
  • The value increased by NOK 94 million, or 37 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • China, the United Kingdom and the United States were the largest markets for frozen cod from Norway in February.

Good market development in the USA

“Exports of frozen whole cod to the US have increased significantly in recent months. So far this year, 1,365 tonnes have been exported there. In comparison, in the same month last year there were only exports of just under 20 tonnes. A slow start to the fishing season for Pacific cod in Alaska and the need for raw materials in the processing industry in the US may have contributed to the growth in recent months, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Growth for clip fish

  • Norway exported 6,100 tonnes of clip fish worth NOK 324 million in February.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 10 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 56 million, or 21 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Portugal, Brazil and Congo-Brazzaville were the largest markets for Norwegian clip fish in February.

These countries contributed the most

The same markets have also contributed the most to value growth last month, with an increase in export value to Portugal of 62 per cent, or NOK 33 million, an increase to Brazil of 74 per cent, or NOK 33 million, and an increase to Congo-Brazzaville of 47 per cent, or NOK 12 million.

“To Portugal, most of the clip fish is cod, while to Brazil there is both clip fish of saithe and cod, and Congo-Brazzaville takes mainly saithe”, explains Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council

Good month for salted fish

  • Norway exported 1,900 tonnes of salted fish worth NOK 116 million in February.
  • The export volume increased by 3 per cent.
  • The value of exports increased by NOK 34 million, or 42 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Greece, Portugal and Spain were the largest markets for Norwegian salted fish in February

“Exports of salted fish to Portugal increased by more than 50 per cent in volume and more than doubled in value in February”, says Eivind Hestvik Brækkan, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council

Strong growth for stockfish

  • Norway exported 424 tonnes of stockfish worth NOK 81 million in February.
  • There is an increase in volume of 58 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 33 million, or 69 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Italy, the USA and Croatia were the largest markets for Norwegian stockfish in February.

As usual, Italy is by far the largest market for Norwegian stockfish. In February, there was an increase of 31 per cent in volume and 41 per cent in value there, compared with February last year.

Optimism in Italy

“In Italy, many people are still in their home office, and restaurant consumption is thus not back at the same level as before the corona pandemic. As the reopening continues, restaurant consumption will increase. Several newly developed stockfish products in stores, especially in northern Italy, will also be positive for the stockfish market in the future”, says Gunvar L. Wie, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Italy,

Weak month for herring

  • Norway exported 32,600 tonnes of herring worth NOK 392 million in February.
  • The volume fell by 40 per cent.
  • The value fell by NOK 137 million, or 26 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Poland, Egypt and Lithuania were the largest markets for Norwegian herring in February.

So far this year, around 160,000 tonnes of herring have been landed, compared with over 200,000 tonnes in the same period last year.

Bad weather resulted in lower volume

“Bad weather and a purse seine fleet that has been busy with capelin fishing in Iceland are important reasons for lower volumes. This has a direct effect on exports, which so far this year are 55,000 tonnes, compared with 90,000 tonnes in the same period last year. At the same time, there has been good demand in many markets, which results in an increase in the prices of all the large herring products”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen, Manager for Pelagic Species with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Value-added for mackerel

  • Norway exported 25,100 tonnes of mackerel worth NOK 490 million in February.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 14 per cent.
  • The export value increased by NOK 39 million, or 9 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • South Korea, China and Japan were the largest markets for Norwegian mackerel in February.

In January and February, 50,000 tonnes of mackerel were landed, compared with 70,000 tonnes in the same period last year. This affected exports, which fell from 70,000 tonnes in 2021 to 50,000 tonnes this year.

Good demand in Asia

“At the same time, the demand for Norwegian mackerel is good, especially in the Asian markets. They caught 75 per cent of the exported mackerel from Norway in February. Tight supply and good demand have raised prices. The average price of all exported mackerel ended in February at NOK 19.50 per kg. This is the highest export price in a single month for mackerel”, says Jan Eirik Johnsen.

Lower volume for king crab

  • Norway exported 154 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 92 million in February.
  • There is a decrease in volume of 33 percent.
  • The value increased by NOK 12 million, or 15 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • The USA, the Netherlands and South Korea were the largest markets for Norwegian king crab in February.

Although the export volume in February has decreased compared to February last year, it is higher than in 2020.

Slower sales in Asia

“The reason for the decline is a combination of strict coronary restrictions and high prices. The result is that sales in Asia have been slower than normal”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Exports to Asia have seen a decrease of 59 per cent in volume compared with February last year. To North America and Europe, on the other hand, there is a growth in exports, both in volume and value.

Strong month for snow crab

  • Norway exported 792 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 164 million in February.
  • There is an increase in volume of 152 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 117 million, or 247 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • The USA, the Netherlands and Denmark were the largest markets for Norwegian snow crab in February.

While others celebrated the new year, the snow crab fleet prepared for a new quota year and catching snow crab after many months of waiting.

“The export figures for February show that the first landings are now either in, or on their way to, the markets. The adventurous growth of snow crab continues with a sharp increase in volume and value in February”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Good growth to the USA

The positive export trend of king crab and snow crab to the USA continues. In February, 426 tonnes of king crab and snow crab were exported to the American market worth NOK 92 million. There is an increase in volume of 90 per cent and in value of 156 per cent.

Live king crab exports developing well

“For king crab, it is especially live that goes well. It goes to the upper part of the restaurant segment which has now reopened. Frozen king crab now leaves the store a little slower due to a very high price”, says Anne-Kristine Øen, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to the USA.

Still achieving good prices

When it comes to snow crab, the picture is a little different. Here, almost everything exported from Norway to the USA is frozen. In February, 391 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 73.8 million were exported to the USA. That is 183 tonnes and NOK 42.8 million more than in February last year.

“The sharp deficit of snow crab that we had in the market last year is about to be normalized. We, therefore, see a small price reduction on frozen snow crab. The export price from Norway to the USA is still 27 per cent higher than it was in February last year”, says Anne-Kristine Øen.

Notable growth for prawn

  • 1,100 tonnes of prawn worth NOK 73 million were exported in February.
  • There is an increase in volume of 31 per cent.
  • The value increased by NOK 8 million, or 13 per cent, compared with February last year.
  • Sweden, the United Kingdom and Finland were the largest markets for Norwegian prawn in February.

    “Prawn exports show a good volume and price development in February for all prawn products to our core markets. The largest growth was in exports of frozen peeled prawn to the United Kingdom, which increased by 197 tonnes or 225 per cent. The export value increased here by 276 per cent”, says Josefine Voraa, Manager for Shellfish with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

    Decline in prawn exports to Sweden

    Exports to our largest prawn market, Sweden, have been slightly weaker in recent months.

    “Although exports of frozen peeled prawn and brine prawn showed a positive development in February, exports of fresh prawn declined. As a result, prawn exports to the Swedish market were reduced by 19 per cent in volume and 26 per cent in value compared with February last year”, says Josefine Voraa.

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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
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    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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