Norway examining opportunities to export herring to Egypt –

Norway examining opportunities to export herring to Egypt Published:  17 January, 2011

Nofima and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF) in Norway are examining opportunities to export herring to Egypt.

Norway’s pelagic exports are concentrated on a limited set of markets, and profitability has been weak in recent years.

Nofima and FHF’s work aims to acquire better knowledge regarding Egypt’s central conditions, so Norwegian exporters can more smartly base their strategies.

A more fragmented export pattern could slash the firms’ market risk, boost their distribution. Because more than 40 per cent of the Egyptian population lives on less than USD 2 a day,  a large part of their income is spent on food. Norway has already been exporting herring to Egypt: in 2009, it sent about 45,000 tonnes of the product, up from 30,000 tonnes in 2007. In 2009 Norwegian businesses also sold almost 15,000 tonnes of frozen whole herring to Egypt, and by the end of last October the amount was about 22,000 tonnes.

Egypt now imports herring from 10 exporters, a number which has jumped in recent years due to lower container rates from the Netherlands, which is Norway’s main competitor.

Egyptian importers assess several characteristics, price being key. They prefer herring with roe, and size, fat content and species (North Sea herring or Norwegian spring-spawning herring) are also central characteristics.