Increased salmon, pelagic sales put Norway on course for record NOK 100 billion export earnings

Published on
December 5, 2019

Exports in Norway have been buoyed by increased harvests and prices in 2019, with the country closing in on – and likely to exceed – the NOK 100 billion (USD 10.9 billion EUR 9.8 billion) mark.

Seafood companies in Norway exported 273,000 metric tons (MT) of fisheries and aquaculture products worth NOK 10.5 billion (USD 1.1 billion, EUR 1 billion) last month, with the volume decreasing by 5 percent and the value rising 6 percent compared with November 2018.

Norway seafood exports for the first 11 months of 2019 totaled 2.4 million MT and were worth NOK 97.7 billion (USD 10.6 billion, EUR 9.6 billion), with the volume down 4 percent but the value rising by 8 percent or NOK 7 billion (USD 760.2 million, EUR 686.7 million) year-on-year.

The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) said this value represents a major milestone for the Scandinavian country, and the total should exceed NOK 100 billion (USD 10.9 billion, EUR 9.8 billion) for the first time this week.

“The world loves seafood from Norway because it is healthy, sustainable, and of the highest quality. Seafood is a part of the solution to the global challenges we face, including health, climate and the need for more food,” NSC CEO Renate Larsen said.

With farmed salmon harvests increasing, Norway sold a total 108,000 MT of products valued at NOK 6.2 billion (USD 673.4 million, EUR 608.4 million) last month, up 7 percent in volume and 12 percent in value compared to November 2018. To date, Norwegian salmon exports have already reached 1 million MT and a value of NOK 66 billion (USD 7.2 billion, EUR 6.5 billion), with respective increases of 7 percent and 6 percent compared with the first 11 months of 2018. 

The average price for whole fresh salmon last month was NOK 59.06 (USD 6.42, EUR 5.80) per kilogram, compared to NOK 56.07 (USD 6.09, EUR 5.50) in November 2018. Poland and France provided the largest markets for these products.

Norway’s trout trade for the year to date has increased by 31 percent in volume to 54,100 MT worth NOK 3.3 billion (USD 358.6 million, EUR 323.9 million), which is up 25 percent year-on-year. Belarus and the United States purchased the most trout from Norway last month.

In the whitefish category, Norway exported 2,900 MT of fresh cod last month, with the trade valued at NOK 141 million (USD 15.3 million, EUR 13.8 million). The volume and value of these products were 6 percent and 22 percent higher than in November 2018, respectively. In the first 11 months of 2019, with quotas lower than last year, Norway exported 49,200 MT of fresh cod worth NOK 2.2 billion (USD 239 million, EUR 215.9 million), down 20 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Norway also exported 7,300 MT of frozen cod valued at NOK 309 million (USD 33.6 million, EUR 30.3 million) last month, with the volume and value increasing by 13 percent and 14 percent, respectively. So far this year, Norway has exported 65,200 MT of frozen cod for NOK 2.8 billion (USD 304.2 million, EUR 274.6 million), with the volume and value rising 2 percent 15 percent year-on-year, respectively.

While Denmark and Sweden were the largest markets for fresh cod last month, the United Kingdom and China accounted for the most frozen cod sales.

With regards to pelagics, in the same 11-month period, Norway exported 310,300 MT of herring worth NOK 2.8 billion, and also 219,000 MT of mackerel worth NOK 3.9 billion (USD 423.7 million, EUR 382.7 million).

Nigeria and Poland were the largest export markets for herring last month, while Japan and China imported the most mackerel.

In Norway’s shellfish sector, the king crab export volume and value for the January through November period totaled 1,900 MT and NOK 585 million (USD 63.6 million, EUR 57.4 million), with the United States and Belgium providing the main export markets last month.

The country has also sold 15,300 MT of shrimp, worth NOK 1 billion (USD 108.7 million, EUR 98.1 million) to overseas markets in 2019. This is a 52 percent increase in volume and a 32 percent rise in value, with Sweden and the United Kingdom providing last month’s main markets.  

Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Seafood Council

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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