Record prices drive Norwegian seafood exports beyond NOK 100 billion mark
Norway exported NOK 109 billion (USD 10.3 billion, EUR 10.5 billion) worth of fisheries and aquaculture products to overseas markets in the first nine months of 2022, up 29 percent by value, or NOK 24.3 billion (USD 2.3 billion, EUR 2.3 billion) compared with the corresponding period of 2021.
Norway Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said the record-breaking value confirmed the seafood industry's position as the country's second most-important export industry.
“The whole of Norway can benefit from the activity and value created along our coastline. The government has set a target of at least a 50 percent increase in Norwegian exports, excluding oil and gas, by 2030. This year's export figures show that the seafood industry will be an important contributor to achieving this target,” he said.
Within the January through September period, Norway’s seafood industry recorded its largest-ever sales total for any quarter of NOK 39 billion (USD 3.7 billion, EUR 3.7 billion) in Q3, which bested its previous record of NOK 36.1 billion (USD 3.4 billion, EUR 3.5 billion) set in Q4 2021. September was its strongest-ever month for sales as it hit an export value of NOK 15.1 billion (USD 1.4 billion, EUR 1.4 billion), an increase of 27 percent, or NOK 3.2 billion (USD 302.8 million, EUR 307.1 million), compared with September 2021 and NOK 2.6 billion (USD 246 million, EUR 249.5 million) more than the previous monthly record set in March 2022.
According to Norwegian Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer historically high prices are one of the primary reasons the third quarter produced the record export value.
"Norwegian seafood has maintained its strong global position both through the corona pandemic and the demanding times we find ourselves in now. Increased production costs, challenging logistics, and soaring food inflation in our most-important markets have raised seafood prices. Still, at the same time, we are facing uncertain times when purchasing power weakens, and markets are changing rapidly,” he said.
In terms of species, salmon continued to be Norway’s top seafood export in Q3 2022, accounting for 72 percent of the value and 49 percent of Norway’s total seafood export volume in the period. Norway exported 355,000 metric tons (MT) of salmon in the three-month period valued at NOK 28 billion (USD 2.6 billion, EUR 2.7 billion), with the volume rising 2 percent and the value soaring by 30 percent compared with Q3 2021. Poland, Denmark, and France were the largest recipients of Norwegian salmon. The average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 71.80 (USD 6.80, EUR 6.89) per kilogram, which was 26 percent higher than in the same period last year.
Also in Q3, Norway exported 16,537 MT of trout valued at NOK 1.5 billion (USD 142 million, EUR 144 million), with volumes falling 14 percent and value rising 26 percent. The United States, Lithuania, and Thailand provided the main markets.
From its whitefish sector, Norway exported 5,200 MT of fresh cod in Q3, earning NOK 280 million (USD 26.5 million, EUR 26.9 million), with the volume falling 27 percent and the value slipping 3 percent. Denmark, Sweden, and Germany provided Norway with its top three cod markets. The NSC confirmed that due to lower catches, the fresh cod export volume decreased to all major destination markets in the quarter.
Q3 was also a record period for Norway’s frozen cod sector, with overseas sales totaling 14,600 MT, worth NOK 809 million (USD 76.6 million, EUR 77.6 million), with the volume and value rising 11 percent and 53 percent, respectively. China, the United Kingdom, and Poland were the product’s top markets.
Norway’s pelagic exporters shipped 43,000 MT of herring, valued at NOK 666 million (USD 63 million, EUR 63.9 million), with the volume and value rising 15 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Norway’s 2022 year-to-date herring exports of almost NOK 2.5 billion (USD 236.6 million, EUR 240 million) represents highest value recorded since 2012.
The sector also sold 118,000 MT of mackerel worth NOK 163 million (USD 15.4 million, EUR 15.6 million) between January and September 2022, representing a 21 percent decrease in volume and a rise in value of 24 percent. Germany, Poland, and Lithuania offered the largest markets for Norwegian herring in the period, while China, Japan, and Egypt were the main markets for the country’s mackerel.
Norway’s shellfish sector reported a strong period for overseas shrimp sales, supported by good fishing and increased landings from the Barents Sea. Some 8,300 MT of products with a value of NOK 372 million (USD 35.2 million, EUR 35.7 million) were exported in the quarter, with the volume and value rising 144 percent and 66 percent, respectively. Iceland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom were the main markets for Norway’s shrimp in the quarter.
Additionally, the country exported 474 MT of king crab worth NOK 255 million (USD 24.1 million, EUR 24.5 million), representing a volume decrease of 39 percent and a 28 percent lower value than a year previously. The United States, Hong Kong, and South Korea were the product’s largest markets.
Norway also shipped 463 MT of snow crab worth NOK 66 million (USD 6.3 million, EUR 6.3 million) in Q3, down 48 percent and 69 percent, respectively, with the United States, Vietnam, and Denmark representing the product’s main markets.
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