HIGHER prices, a weaker kroner and rising demand from the United States have combined to deliver strong growth to Norway’s salmon exporters during the first quarter of 2019, the latest figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council today show.
The country exported 245,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 16.7 billion (£1.49 billion) between January and March this year.
The volume increase was small – just one per cent – but the value rose by seven per cent or NOK 1.1 billion.
While the growth in value to the European Union bloc was five per cent, exports to the US increased by around 20 per cent, compared with a year ago. The export value of fresh fillets alone to America was even higher, at 58 per cent.
Seafood Council analyst Paul T. Aandahl said: ‘Compared to a year ago, the dollar is 10 per cent stronger against the Norwegian kroner, which favours exports towards dollar markets when set against euro markets.’
The figure for March show 83,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 6 billion were sold overseas, with volumes down by four per cent.
However, the value remained the same and the average price per kilo is up from NOK 67.45 in March 2018 to NOK 68.78 in March this year.
Farmed trout exports have also enjoyed a bumper quarter. Sales rose by 13 per cent to 11,100 tonnes, but the value was up by 22 per cent to NOK 775 million.
Both fresh and frozen trout fillets did exceptionally well, up by 176 and 147 per cent respectively. The March figure shows trout exports running at 3,600 tonnes, worth NOK 270 million, a value rise of nine per cent.
Total Norwegian seafood exports enjoyed their best earnings quarter ever. The volume at 640,000 tonnes was down due to lower quotas and bad weather, but the value rose by seven per cent to NOK 25.6 billion (£2.7 billion) with revenues from frozen cod in particular rising by 40 per cent.
The UK was one of the largest markets, suggesting British importers have been stockpiling in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit. Exports of shellfish, such as shrimp and king crab, were also well up.
Picture: Paul T. Aandahl of the Norwegian Seafood Council