A strong start for the Norwegian seafood year – a 15 pct. increase from last year

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Norway exported 207,000 tonnes of seafood totalling EUR 968 million in January. Volume is at the same level as last year, while export value increased by EUR 118 million, or 15 pct., compared with January 2019.

“The Norwegian seafood year starts with a historically high level of January exports. Demand for Norwegian salmon is increasing in all regions, and average prices are considerably higher than in the same period last year. For whitefish, increased volumes and prices of fresh products are contributing to growth in value. We have also seen an increase in value for both trout, herring and mackerel. At the same time, a weak Norwegian kroner against all the important currencies is another explanation for the growth in value”, says Tom-Jørgen Gangsø, Director of Market Insight and Market Access at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Huge value growth for salmon exports
88,000 tonnes of salmon were exported with a value of NOK 6.8 billion in January. This is an increase in volume of 3 per cent, while the value increased by NOK 1.2 billion, or 21 per cent, compared with January 2019.

The average price for fresh whole salmon in January was NOK 75.86 per kg, compared to NOK 62.44 per kg in January last year.

Poland, France and Denmark were the largest recipients of salmon from Norway.

“Demand for Norwegian salmon rose sharply in January. There is strong growth in value for all regions, with a 22 per cent increase in value to the EU, 20 per cent to Asia and 23 per cent to North America. In volume terms, there is a slight decline of 3 per cent to Asia. We see this decline primarily in relation to the shift in Chinese New Year compared to last year”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“Most of the fresh salmon to China is consumed through HoReCa. And since residents are encouraged to stay home, the demand from restaurants will change. A possible effect with limited outdoor activities could be a turning towards increased home consumption, says Victoria Braathen, with the Norwegian Seafood Council’s operations in China.

Trout exports see large volume growth
In January, 5,700 tonnes of trout were exported with a value of NOK 356 million. Export volume increased by 45 per cent, while value increased by NOK 94 million, or 36 per cent, compared with January last year.

Ukraine, the United States and Thailand were our largest trout market in January.

“The biggest growth market for trout exports in January was Ukraine, with a huge 259 per cent increase. Despite the Russian market being closed to Norwegian salmon via Belarus in January, the reduction to this market was only 13 per cent or 67 tonnes”, says Paul T. Aandahl.