Norway seafood export values spike

Published on
December 28, 2016

While the value of Norwegian seafood exports are expected to set a record for 2016, volumes are much lower than last year.

As of the end of November, Norwegian seafood exports rose NOK 16 billion (USD 1.8 billion, EUR 1.75 billion) to reach NOK 83.2 billion (USD 9.5 billion, EUR 9.1 billion) so far in 2016. The increasing value of overall seafood exports is driven by salmon and trout prices, which were at “historic highs” throughout 2016, according to the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“2016 looks set to be another record year for Norwegian seafood exports. Assuming normal performance in December, we see that total exports will pass the NOK 90 billion (USD 10.3 billion, EUR 9.8 billion) mark by a wide margin,” said Geir Håvard Hanssen, communications director for the NSC. “More and more markets are requesting seafood from Norway, and our seafood industry is strengthening its position as a key industry for Norway´s future.”

In November, Norway exported 219,000 tons of seafood, a drop of 16 percent in volume. However, the value of November exports soared 22 percent to reach NOK 9 billion (USD 1 billion, EUR 988 million).

However, salmon prices have risen so much in 2016 that the high prices “have contributed to lower export volumes to major salmon markets in Europe,” according to a statement from the NSC.

Salmon prices remained high in November with an average price for whole fresh salmon of NOK 61.90 (USD 7.11, EUR 6.80) per kg, compared to NOK 44.86 (USD 5.15, EUR 4.93) per kg. in November, 2015. The price for fresh whole trout was, for the second consecutive month, higher than that for fresh whole salmon at NOK 65.18 (USD 7.48, EUR 7.16) per kg average export price in November.

As a result, in November, the Norwegian salmon industry exported 94,000 tons of salmon worth NOK 6.1 billion (USD 700 million, EUR 670 million), a volume increase of 2 percent. Meanwhile, the value of salmon exports increased by 38 percent, compared to November 2015.

“This is the first time the value of salmon exports exceeded NOK 6 billion (USD 689 million, EUR 659 million) in a single month,” an NSC statement confirmed.

For the year through the end of November, Norway exported 890,000 tons of salmon totaling a value of NOK 55 billion (USD 6.5 billion, EUR 6 billion), a decline of 5.1 percent in volume, but a sales spike of 30 percent compared to the same period last year.

Exports of salmon increased to markets with a significant processing industry, such as Poland and Denmark, along with the United States. However, exports to countries like Spain and Sweden dropped.

“While the volume of exports fell for processed salmon products, this was balanced by the increased export volumes for fresh whole Norwegian salmon in November,” said Paul Aandahl, a salmon analyst for the NSC.

Meanwhile, Norway exported 64,100 tons of trout worth NOK 3.6 billion (USD 413 million, EUR 395 million) so far in 2016. “By volume this is an increase of 38 percent, while by value the increase was NOK 77 percent higher than the same period in 2015,” NSC said. In November, Japan and Belarus bought the most trout from Norway.

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