Record exports of fresh cod from Norway

Published on
March 7, 2016

Norway’s exports of cod, saithe, haddock and other groundfish totaled NOK 1.3 billion (EUR 139.2 million; USD 152.5 million) last month, which was 28 percent or NOK 284 million (EUR 30.4 million; USD 33.3 million) more than in February 2015. Record exports for fresh products and large exports of frozen cod and haddock were largely responsible for the growth.

"There has been a better start to the winter fishery this year than the same time last year, and with better prices and higher volumes this is the best month in history for fresh fish," said Ove Johansen at the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC).

The total export value of all fresh codfish products amounted to NOK 543 million (EUR 58.1 million; USD 63.7 million) last month, 66 percent or NOK 216 million (EUR 23.1 million; USD 25.3 million) more than in February 2015. This latest total was the highest ever value achieved by Norway for a single month. In volume terms, exports increased by 73 per cent year-on-year.

Sales of skrei cod last month amounted to NOK 75.4 million (EUR 8.1 million; USD 8.8 million), 73 percent or NOK 32 million (EUR 3.4 million; USD 3.8 million) more than in February last year. The volume increased from 1,390 metric tons (MT) to 2,115 MT, up 52 percent. In addition, the average price increased by 20 percent to NOK 48.73 (EUR 5.22; USD 5.72) per kg.

The Scandinavian country’s exports of fresh whole cod increased by 60 percent or NOK 108 million (EUR 11.6 million; USD 12.7 million) to a total of NOK 288 million (EUR 30.8 million; USD 33.8 million). The volume of this product increased by 3,033 MT to 10,160 MT. Fresh whole saithe increased from 359 MT to 1,535 MT, up 323 percent.

Exports of fresh fillets amounted to NOK 84 million (EUR 9 million; USD 9.9 million), 40 percent more than in February last year. Within this category, cod fillets increased in value by NOK 9.1 million (EUR 974,500; USD 1.1 million) to NOK 60.4 million (EUR 6.5 million; USD 7.1 million), and haddock fillets increased from NOK 8 million (EUR 856,703; USD 938,671) to NOK 20.1 million (EUR 2.2 million; USD 2.4 million).

About half of the fresh fish from Norway goes to Denmark before it is distributed across Europe, but the NSC also reported strong growth in the export values to Poland (142 percent), Spain (82 percent) and France (44 percent).

In addition to the increase of fresh fish sales, Norway’s exports of frozen codfish products increased by 44 percent or NOK 117 million (EUR 12.5 million; USD 13.7 million) to NOK 385 million (EUR 41.2 million; USD 45.2 million) last month. Frozen whole cod was responsible for the greatest increase – from NOK 103 million (EUR 11 million; USD 12.1 million) to NOK 169 million (EUR 18.1 million; USD 19.8 million).

The frozen volume increased by 47 percent from 4,154 MT to 6,119 MT, and the price increased 11 percent to NOK 27.69 (EUR 2.97; USD 3.25) per kg. Norway’s main market for frozen whole codfish is China, with sales increasing from NOK 73 million (EUR 7.8 million; USD 8.6 million) in February 2015 to NOK 113.8 million (EUR 12.2 million; USD 13.4 million) last month.

Frozen fillets increased from NOK 55 million (EUR 5.9 million; USD 6.5 million) to NOK 78 million (EUR 8.4 million; USD 9.2 million) in February 2016. More haddock has been produced in both in blocks and fillets this year.

The largest market for frozen fillets was the United Kingdom, which imported NOK 27.7 million (EUR 3 million; USD 3.3 million) worth of the products last month, up 33 percent.

Overall, Norway exported seafood worth NOK 6.8 billion (EUR 722.4 million; USD 785.3 million) in February, an increase of 29 percent or NOK 1.5 billion (EUR 159.4 million; USD 173.2 million) year-on-year.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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