Norway’s seafood exports hits record high at 2.7m tons worth US$11.5b

NORWAY – Norway has exported 2.7 million tonnes of seafood to reach a new record of US$11.5 billion in 2018, a 4% increase in volume compared to the previous year, according to Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) statistics.

The numbers represent a 5% value increase (EUR 468 million) compared to 2017.

The period under review was favoured by high seafood exports to the European Union attributed to lower competition and a favourable currency situation against the euro while China presented increased completion and challenging market access.

According to NSC, which is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the value of seafood exports has increased by 156% over the past ten years with aquaculture accounting for 72% of export value and 40.5% of the volume of total seafood exports for 2018.

Norway has exported 1.1 million tonnes of aquaculture fish with a value of US$8.23 billion in 2018.

The salmon

Higher salmon prices and increasing market share in the EU has contributed high export volumes and value.

Salmon has the largest share of any species measured in terms of both export volume and export value and has benefited from increased demand in the international market.

Norway exported 1.1 million tonnes of salmon worth EUR 6.9 billion (US$7.89 billion) in 2018, representing a volume increase of 5%, and an increase in value by 5% from 2017.

84% of salmon is exported as unprocessed product, with 16 per cent processed before export.

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“Increased demand for Norwegian salmon in the EU market has contributed to Norwegian salmon exports to the EU exceeding 73%, up from 71% in 2017.

Poland is the largest growth market in 2018, with exports increasing from NOK 1.1 billion (US$128 million) to NOK 8.8 billion (US$1.02 billion),” said Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Trout is the second most significant exported farmed species and Norway exported 46,400 tonnes of trout worth EUR 30 million in 2018, a 16% increase by volume.

Export markets matter

In 2018, record export values were measured for salmon, cod, saithe and king crab.

Key export destination for Norwegian seafood include Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands.

1.7 million tonnes of seafood were exported to the EU worth EUR 6.7 billion while a decline was experienced in Asia, which imported 478,000 tonnes of seafood worth EUR 1.8 billion from Norway.

NSC revealed that there has been weak growth in Eastern Europe but Poland remained Norway’s largest single market measured in export value with 228,000 tonnes while in Denmark, its second largest market received seafood totalling EUR 876 million from Norway.

The largest growth market outside Poland in 2018 was the UK, making Britain the fourth most important market for Norwegian seafood exports in 2018.

“Once again, a new record has been set for Norwegian seafood exports. We have every reason to be proud of that.

This is a good and significant result for the Norwegian economy. The seafood industry contributes to value creation and jobs across the country,” said Fisheries Minister Harald Tom Nesvik.

“While the value of exports has increased by 60% over the past five years, the volume has increased by almost 10%.

Greater volume growth is therefore highly desirable in order to develop the industry further. Our goal is for the industry to continue to grow, and as Minister for Fisheries, I work towards this goal every single day.”

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