Norway’s seafood exports see great start for 2024

Fresh seafood on crushed ice at fish market. Raw salmon fillet on display counter at store.

High salmon prices at the start of this year helped to maintain a strong export performance despite lower volumes, the Norwegian Seafood Council said today.

Seafood exports for Norway in January totalled NOK 13.3bn (around £1bn), 5% up on January last year.

Christian Chramer, the Seafood Council’s CEO said it was a good start to the year, adding that the figure was a record for the month of January.

The value growth in seafood has now continued for 35 consecutive months, although in volume terms the figure is down. The tonnage was 184,000 tonnes, 15% lower than a year ago.

CEO Chramer said: “The quota reductions on cod, herring and mackerel are now really beginning to be felt on the export volume.

“This year too, our largest wild-caught species measured in value, the cod, will receive a quota cut of 20%. The same is the case for herring.

“This results in increased competition for the raw material and lower supply to the markets.”

Salmon, however, remains king in the overall export picture. While there was a small drop in volume terms (2%) to just under 87,000 tonnes, the value increased by 11% to NOK 9.8bn (£730.5m).

As usual Poland, with its large processing sector, was the main destination and production there was up by 32% on a year ago. When it comes to consumption, however, France and the United States remain the main markets for salmon.

Seafood analyst Paul T. Aandahl , who specialises in salmon market trends, said: “The development in January follows the pattern from the last three years.

“A decrease in volume results in a greater growth in price compared to the same period the previous year, and the result is an increase in value.”

The average export price for fresh whole salmon in January was NOK 107.09 per kilo (around £8). That is 15% higher than in the same month last year.

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