Norway’s seafood exports hit NOK 82bn record for H1

Norway’s seafood exports hit a record NOK 82.3bn (£6bn) during the first half of 2023, figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council released today show.

This represents an increase of NOK 12.3bn (just over £900,000) or 18% on a year ago, by value.

Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer said the country’s seafood export performance had never been stronger, helped by a weaker krone and global food inflation.

Volumes, however, dropped by 5% or 75,000 tonnes during the first six months to 1.3 million tonnes.

Herring, cod and salmon all recorded a drop in export volume, which can be explained by challenging fishing conditions, reduced quotas and “a somewhat lower salmon production volume”.

CEO Chramer added: “The flow of goods is affected by the fact that we live in troubled and demanding economic times.

“The high food inflation has affected purchasing power in Europe to a greater extent than in our overseas markets. In the US, however, we see that food price inflation has now levelled off.”

Norway’s Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said: “The export figures emphasise that seafood from Norway is a sought-after product around the world.

“At the same time, it is important to be aware that it is currency, and not volume, that is the major driver this period. This is not immediately positive in an otherwise good six months. “

The Minister added: “The government is therefore keen to facilitate more activity and increased value creation along the entire coast.”

Salmon was once again the main driver during the January to June period. Norway’s salmon farmers sold 524,000 tonnes of the pink fish, 2% down on a year ago.

But, thanks to higher prices during most of the period , the value increased by 21% or NOK 10.3bn (around £740,000) to NOK 58.5 bn (£4.3m).

There was a record high price for fresh whole salmon at NOK 107 per kg and a record price of NOK 153 per kg for fresh fillets during the period.

The Seafood Council’s salmon specialist Paul T. Aandahl said the United States was showing particularly strong growth sales as was China which had now reopened after coronavirus shutdowns.

It was also a particularly good six months for Norway’s trout farmers despite a 12% drop in volumes. The value rose by 8% to NOK 2.3 bn (£169m) .

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