NORWEGIAN seafood exports got off to a strong start in the New Year with revenues last month increasing by almost a billion kroner – or £90.5 million.
The country exported 200,600 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 8.6 billion (£778.3 million), a four per cent decline in volume, but an increase of NOK 992 million or 13 per cent in value compared to January last year.
Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, director of market insight at the Norwegian Seafood Council, said higher demand had seen an increase in the price of salmon, which was worth NOK 5.7 billion (£515.8 million) last month, adding that this was accompanied by a strong demand for frozen cod.
The Seafood Council said the ratio between conventional fishing and aquaculture had changed little over the past 12 months. Fish farming brought in 70 per cent of total revenues, but accounted for just 45 per cent of total volume.
Norway sold 86,000 tonnes of salmon in January, a volume increase of only two per cent, but a value rise of NOK 700 million or 14 per cent.
The average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 62.93 per kilo last month against NOK 56.99 per kilo in January last year.
The United States showed the largest revenue growth, but Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland, which process salmon for EU customers, again remain the main markets.
The trout market was also buoyant, with volumes increasing by 24 per cent to 4,000 tonnes, while the value rose by 29 per cent or NOK 59 million.
Fresh cod exports totalled 4,700 tonnes and were worth NOK 227 million. This represents a volume reduction of 900 tonnes or 16 per cent, while the value was at the same level as last year.
But frozen cod exports, at 9,900 tonnes and worth NOK 401 million, were up by 2,000 tonnes or 25 per cent in volume, and up by NOK 130 million or 48 per cent in value, with the UK and China among the main markets.
Shrimp sales did particularly well, totalling 1,800 tonnes and worth NOK 111 million, a volume increase of 1,200 tonnes or 175 per cent and a value increase of NOK 58 million or 110 per cent.