Norwegian Seafood Council focusing on expanding US export market

Norwegian Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer addressing a crowd
The Norwegian Seafood Council has been increasing its drive to sell Norwegian seafood in the U.S. | Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource
6 Min

The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) has been placing an enhanced focus on the U.S. market as the country seeks to continue expanding its seafood export value.

During an informational seminar hosted by the NSC, officials with the organization emphasized its work in the U.S. is a key part of its plans for expanding Norway’s seafood exports. According to NSC CEO Christian Chramer, the council has never focused more on the U.S. than it has now. 

“We have been steadily increasing our budgets over the last two years, and the last three years have seen record highs both in investments and activities for Norwegian seafood in the U.S.,” Chramer said. 

Norway had a banner year for its seafood export value in 2023, posting a NOK 20.7 billion (USD 1.9 billion, EUR 1.8 billion) increase in year-over-year trade value to reach NOK 172 billion (USD 15.8 billion, EUR 14.8 billion). That value total places seafood exports as the country’s second-largest export category behind oil and gas.

However, a weaker kroner was largely to blame for the value increases, and the country’s three-year streak of year-over-year export value growth ended in Q1 2024 as the currency effect began to decline.

Historically, European countries have been the main destination for much of Norway’s salmon, which makes up the lion’s share of the country’s exports. The NSC’s most recent statistics published on salmon exports highlight what is sometimes a huge gulf between salmon exports to Europe and the U.S. – the country exported 1,880 metric tons (MT) of salmon to Denmark alone in week 14 of 2024, while it only exported 35 MT to the U.S.

Overall, however, salmon exports to the U.S. have been increasing and reached 71,113 MT in 2023 – up from 66,432 MT in 2022, according to NSC statistics. For reference, Norway sent 114,374 MT to Denmark in 2023, up from 111,479 in 2022. The difference between the U.S. and Poland is even greater – Norway sent 189,235 MT of salmon to the Eastern European country in 2023.

Even with the gulf between salmon exports to Europe and the U.S., the U.S. is still one of the 10 largest markets for Norwegian seafood by value. In 2023, the U.S. represented a NOK 13.7 billion (USD 1.26 billion, EUR 1.18 billion) market for the country’s seafood – a sum that was 18 percent higher year over year – and salmon is still an important part of that.

“Things are going really well for Norwegian Seafood in the U.S.; there’s been a steady growth,” NSC U.S. Director Anne-Kristine Øen said. “The total export in 2023 to the U.S. came to 116,000 MT.”

The growth, which was an increase of NOK 2.1 billion (USD 194 million, EUR 180 million) over 2022, made it the ...

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