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A superb season for Norwegian cod.
A superb season for Norwegian cod.

Press release -

What a season for Norwegian cod! Spring cod is breaking records

Norway exported 927,000 tonnes of seafood with an export value of NOK 31.5 billion. The volume is the same as last year, and export values have increased by NOK 485 million or 2 per cent, compared with the first four months of 2017. In April, we exported 172,000 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 7.7 billion. The export volume is down 4 per cent, while exports increased by NOK 847 million or 12 per cent.

"High cod and haddock prices continue to help boost the value of Norwegian seafood. Despite a season of good weather, lower quotas have led to lower catches this year than last year. At the same time, more fresh whole skrei has been exported this year compared with last year, at elevated prices. This means that we have achieved an export record for skrei with a value of almost NOK 200 million. These are the fruits of long-term work between several actors to establish the stage for skrei as a high-quality product in the markets. Spain is a spearhead importer and we also see that skrei is starting to be adopted by French consumers”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council. 

“Importers report a good market, which is reflected in a 5% increase in volume and an 18% jump in value from 2017 to 2018 for fresh whole cod. In Spain, Skrei is regarded as the best Norwegian cod, almost like a pata negra (premium ham) and it is highly anticipated every year. The supermarkets in Spain do a good job of marketing it in their catalogs and via other media”, says Country Manager of Spain, Hildegunn Fure Osmundsvåg, who is with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Gains for fresh and frozen cod

42,000 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, were exported with a value of NOK 1.5 billion in the first four months of this year. The value increased by NOK 49 million or 3 per cent, while the volume fell by 5 per cent in the same period. Of this, 5,100 tonnes of skrei were exported with a value of NOK 198 million kroner. Volumes are at the same level as last year while the export value has increased by NOK 17 million or 10 per cent.

During the same period, 27,000 tonnes of frozen cod were exported with a value of NOK 950 million. This is an increase in volume of 4 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 90 million or 10 per cent.

"Traditionally, the main season for cod is over by now, but for example, the freshwater scheme and livelihoods have helped to extend the season. Råfisklag reports that we are approaching the record year of 2016 with the number of kilos of live caged cod, which will help us to maintain supply to the markets with fresh cod in the coming months”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, Analyst at the Seafood Council,.

Upward trend for clipfish and salted fish

So far this year, 28,000 tonnes of clipfish have been exported with a value of NOK 1.2 billion. The volume increased by 5 per cent, while the export value increased by NOK 115 million or 10 per cent.

13,000 tonnes of salted fish were exported with a value of NOK 660 million. The volume increased by 4 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 99 million or 18 per cent.

“The price growth of the conventional products continues, and it is especially cod that pulls prices up. The average price of cod has increased by 14 per cent compared to the same period last year”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen.

Increased volume for salmon exports

Norway exported 320,000 tonnes of salmon with a value of NOK 21 billion so far this year. This is an increase in volume of 16,000 tonnes or 5 per cent, while export value is at the same level as last year. In April, we exported 74,000 tonnes of salmon with a value of NOK 5.3 billion. The volume increased by 4 per cent while the value increased by NOK 442 million or 9 per cent.

While the average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 63.56 per kg April 2017, it was NOK 68.52 per kg in April 2018. So far this year, the average price for fresh whole salmon is NOK 62.74 per kg compared against NOK 64.99 per kg.

“Despite a good price trend so far this year, the price in the first quarter is down by NOK 2.25 compared with the same period last year. A positive growth in global demand and a favourable exchange rate has not been sufficient to offset the negative price effects resulting from increased supply. The decline in prices is primarily due to increased offerings from Norway. Nevertheless, increased volumes results in growth in value of 9 per cent or NOK 442 million for salmon”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Trout exports improve

So far this year, 13 600 tonnes of trout have been exported with a value of NOK 883 million. The volume increased by 24 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 14 million or 2 per cent, compared with the same period last year. In April, 3,800 tonnes of trout were exported with a value of NOK 246 million. Belarus, the US and Japan were our largest trout export markets in April.

Herring volumes increase, mackerel declines

103,000 tonnes of herring were exported with a value of NOK 896 million. This is an increase of 21 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 73 million or 8 per cent. Germany, Poland, and Lithuania were the main markets for herring in the period January to April.

So far this year, 61,000 tonnes of mackerel have been exported with a value of NOK 778 million. The volume fell by 21 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 169 million or 18 per cent. Turkey, South Korea and China were the largest recipients of mackerel during the period.

"Norwegian mackerel is continuing to grow in popularity in South Korea's markets, and the Norwegian mackerel is in the process of consolidating its position. South Korea is the largest emerging market for mackerel, and has imported 2,000 tonnes more this year than during the same period last year”, says Country Director of South Korea, Gunvar L Wie, who is with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Prawns exports are up, king crab down

495 tonnes of king crab worth a total of NOK 140 million were exported. This is a decrease of 13 per cent while the value fell by NOK 14 million or 9 per cent.

For prawns, the volume increased by 368 tonnes or 15 per cent to total 2,800 tonnes, while the export value increased by NOK 50 million or 28 per cent to a total of NOK 232 million.

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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

Ingrid Kristine Pettersen

Ingrid Kristine Pettersen

Market analyst Whitefish and conventional products
Paul T. Aandahl

Paul T. Aandahl

Seafood Analyst +47 975 04 124