US is now Norway’s main consumer market for seafood

salmon norway

Norway exported fish to a record 153 countries last year, figures from the country’s Seafood Council show.

Norway’s seafood exports amounted to a total of NOK 33 billion (£2.5bn) in 2023.

The United States is now the largest “non-processing” market – and it is still growing – but the UK is also buying more seafood from Norway.

Poland and Denmark both import very large quantities of Norwegian seafood, but much of this is for processing and onward export to other countries. Together, these two markets account for 37% of exports.

The US, followed by France, was the largest market among non-processing countries. Americans consumed Norwegian seafood worth NOK 13.7 bn (just over £1bn) last year, with salmon the main species.

France paid NOK 11.8 bn (£885m) for Norwegian seafood during 2023, again much of that figure accounted for by salmon. Spain too is a fast growing market at NOK 8.8 bn (£660m) while China is again on the up at NOK 8.5bn (£650m).

But Norway has competition from Scotland. The Seafood Council said: “Our near neighbour, France, continues to be the largest market for Scottish salmon with sales worth £305m and 53% of all Scottish salmon exports, followed by USA (£131 million), and China (£37 million).”

The UK meanwhile bought seafood from Norway worth NOK 8.6bn, (£645m), up by 11% on the previous year. This was mainly prawns and whitefish such as cod and haddock but the UK is also a significant buyer of salmon.

Ukraine may be embroiled in a bitter war with Russia, but it has not stopped the country from buying seafood.

The Seafood Council said Ukraine had the greatest increase in value last year which was up by NOK 284m (£21m). Sales of salmon and trout to Ukraine increased by 14% on the previous year.

 

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