The value of Norwegian seafood exports dropped by 16% last month, with salmon taking the biggest hit.
Figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council show that the country’s fish farmers and fishing vessel owners earned NOK 8.1bn (£689m) during January.
Salmon exports totalled 95,600 tonnes, a volume increase of 11 %, but the revenue was down by 23 per cent or NOK 1.5bn to NOK 5.2bn (£442m).
Tom-Jorgen Gangs, director of market insight at the Seafood Council, said the overall decline was primarily due to a significant drop in the export value of salmon
Norway exported seafood worth NOK 8.1bnin January. This represents a decrease of NOK 1.6bn, or 16%, compared with the same month last year.
Gangs pointed to various forms of lockdown and the closure or partial closure of restaurants in many countries as a key factor.
He added: “In sum, this means lower demand for a number of the most important seafood products from Norway. A small bright spot compared to the previous closure in 2020 is that in many markets it seems that the fish counters in the grocery chains have remained open.”
The average price of fresh whole salmon last month was NOK 48.79 per kilo, against NOK 75.53 in January last year. The largest markets for Norwegian salmon are Poland, which is home to a large processing sector, along with France and the United States.
Sweden was the largest growth market with Swedish consumers anxious to refill their fridges and freezers after the Christmas celebrations.
Seafood Council analyst Paul T. Amdahl said that despite the fall in revenue, prices had remained relatively stable since August, and were up slightly last month compared with the December figure.
Exports of farmed trout also took a big hit last month falling in volume by 32% to 3,800 tonnes and by 38% in value to NOK 218m (£18.5m).
However, Amdahl said that trout prices had shown a “positive development” in recent months, with the price for fresh whole trout up 8% during January.
Fresh cod sales totalled 4,000 tonnes and were worth NOK 182m (£15m), down by 34% in volume and 44% in value. Bad weather affecting the fishing grounds was the main factor behind the drop.
Frozen cod fared better, charting an increase of 35% in volume to 6,900 tonnes and value up by 12% to NOK 262m (£22m), with the UK, China and Lithuania the main markets.
Exports of shrimp (prawns) fell by 3% in volume and 11% in value.