High prices drive Norwegian exporters to record-breaking August

Norwegian seafood sitting on an ice covered table in a market.

Despite some strong headwinds, bumper salmon sales together with high prices led Norway to its best-ever month for seafood export earnings in August 2022.

The Scandinavian country sold NOK 12.5 billion (USD 1.24 billion, EUR 1.25 billion) worth of fisheries and aquaculture products to overseas markets in August, with the new record total up 30 percent, or NOK 2.9 billion (USD 289.1 million, EUR 289.2 million) compared to August 2021.

So far this year, Norway’s seafood export value has grown by 29 percent, or NOK 21.2 billion (USD 2.1 billion, EUR 2.13 billion), compared with the first eight months of 2021, reaching a value total of NOK 94 billion (USD 9.33 billion, EUR 9.44 billion).

“It is the particularly high volumes and prices for salmon that are driving export records in August. This is the best single month of all time for salmon measured in value, while there is an August record for pollock, trout, haddock, and the entire whitefish category,” Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) CEO Børge Grønbech said. “At the same time, we are in a period of high inflation, lower purchasing power, challenging logistics, and increased production costs. In addition, a strengthening of the krone against the euro, as we have seen in August, is a challenging factor for exporters. This means that we are still in challenging times in which to conduct global trade.”

Compared to last year, the at-home consumption of seafood is falling in Europe, according to Grønbech, but he said this is because more people are holidaying and eating their meals outside their homes this year.

Norway exported 120,700 metric tons (MT) of salmon last month, valued at NOK 9.2 billion (USD 917.3 million, EUR 917.5 million), with the volume rising 7 percent and the value soaring by 34 percent compared with August 2021. Poland, Denmark, and the United States were the largest recipients of Norwegian salmon.

Norway also exported 5,400 MT of trout valued at NOK 492 million (USD 48.8 million, EUR 49.4 million) in August. That volume is down 16 percent, but the value of those exports rose 23 percent compared to 2021. The United States, Armenia, and Thailand provided Norway's top-three trout markets.

Norway exported 1,600 MT of fresh cod last month, earning NOK 88 million (USD 8.7 million, EUR 8.8 million), with the volume falling 34 percent and the value slipping 6 percent. Denmark, Sweden, and Germany provided its top three cod markets. The NSC confirmed the volume of fresh cod exports decreased to all major destination markets, except for the United Kingdom, but it said the export price of fresh fillets reached an all-time high of NOK 122 (USD 12.11, EUR 12.26) per kilogram, up from NOK 85 (USD 8.44, EUR 8.54) per kilogram in August 2021, while the export volume fell from 221 MT to 189 MT.

August 2022 was also a strong month for Norway’s frozen cod sector, with overseas sales totaling 5,800 MT worth NOK 314 million (USD 31.1 million, EUR 31.5 million). The volume and value of Norway's frozen cod shipped for export rose 67 percent and 120 percent in August, respectively. China, the United Kingdom, and Poland were the top markets for frozen cod from Norway in the month.

The export price of frozen whole cod remained at the record high level of over NOK 54 (USD 5.36, EUR 5.43) per kilogram for the third month in a row.

Norway's pelagic exporters shipped 14,000 MT of herring, valued at an August record of NOK 210 million (USD 20.8 million, EUR 21.1 million), with the monthly volume and value rising 24 percent and 48 percent, respectively, year-over-year. Exporters also sold 26,900 MT of mackerel worth NOK 464 million (USD 46.1 million, EUR 46.6 million), representing a 20 percent decrease in volume, and a fall in value of 1 percent.

Germany, Poland, and Lithuania offered the largest markets for Norwegian herring last month, while China, Egypt, and Japan were the main markets for the country’s mackerel.

Norway’s shellfish sector reported a good month for overseas shrimp sales, with trade boosted by good fishing and increased landings from the Barents Sea. It sent 2,200 MT of products with a value of NOK 108 million (USD 10.7 million, EUR 10.8 million) abroad, with the volume and value  of its shellfish exports rising 134 percent and 56 percent, respectively. Iceland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom were the top three buyers of Norwegian shellfish in August.

Additionally, the country exported 191 MT of king crab worth NOK 103 million (USD 10.2 million, EUR 10.3 million) in August, representing a volume decrease of 41 percent, and a 31 percent lower value than a year previously. South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United States were the top markets for Norway's king crab in August.

The NSC reported that the export prices for both live and frozen king crab have remained at high levels. The export price for live catch in August was NOK 513 (USD 50.97, EUR 51.54) per kilogram, 17 percent higher than in 2021 and 55 percent higher than in 2020.

Frozen king crab from Norway achieved an average export price of NOK 855 (USD 84.96, EUR 85.91) per kilogram, which is 56 percent higher than in 2021 and 145 percent higher than in August 2020.

Norway also shipped 65 MT of snow crab worth NOK 10 million (USD 993,780, EUR 1 million) in August. Those totals were own 102 percent and 18 percent, respectively, with the United States representing the product’s main market.  

Photo courtesy of joyfull/Shutterstock


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500