March 10, 2020


Norway's seafood export volume down 6% in February but value up 17%



Norway's seafood exports in February decreased 6% to 216,000 tonnes, compared with the same month last year. Value, however, increased by 17% or NOK 1.4 billion to NOK9.3 billion (US$ 979.75 million).


During the first two months, seafood exports decreased 2% to 430,000 tonnes, while value, at NOK19 billion ($2 billion), increased 15% or by NOK2.5 billion, compared with the same period last year.


"Despite increased uncertainty in the world's seafood markets as a result of the focus on COVID-19, demand for Norwegian seafood continues to increase overall", said Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, director of market insight and market access with the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC).


Salmon had the greatest growth in value, according to Gangsø, adding that, as a category, Norway's largest species of fish is proving to be very robust against the temporary reduction in demand from individual markets. "The reason for this", he explained, "is that salmon is exported to over 100 markets, used for many different occasions and is available in many product forms".


Norway's salmon exports in February totalled 81,100 tonnes, worth NOK5.9 billion ($621.125 million). This is an increase of 1% in terms of volume, while export value increased 16% or by NOK817 million, compared with February last year.


From January to February, 168,000 tonnes of salmon were exported, worth NOK 12.6 billion ($1.326 billion). This is an increase of 1% in volume, while value increased 18% or by NOK1.9 billion.


Salmon's average price per kg


The average price for fresh whole salmon in February was higher at NOK68.99 ($7.26) per kilogramme than last year's NOK58.87 ($6.19) /kg.


Poland, France and the US were the largest buyers of Norwegian salmon in February.


February saw a sharp decline in salmon exports to China at 363 tonnes, down 83% from the same month last year.


"Salmon that would otherwise have gone to China has been exported to other markets. For example, we see growth of 22 percent for fresh whole salmon to the United States, and to Taiwan, where exports increased by 73 percent in February", said Paul T. Aandahl, seafood analyst at the NSC.


He added that there was a 14% decline in export volume in February to Italy, which is the country most severely affected by COVID-19 in Europe.