Norwegian seafood exports smash through NOK 150bn barrier

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Norwegian seafood exports in 2022 hit a dramatic record of NOK 151.4 billion (£12.6bn), figures from the country’s Seafood Council today show.

Also last year, overseas sales of farmed salmon exceeded NOK 100 bn (£8.3bn) for the first time.

To give some idea of how Norway’s exports have surged since Covid, in 2019, the last full year without the potentially damaging effects of pandemic or war in Europe , overall exports totalled NOK 107 bn – almost £9bn. This was a figure regarded as incredible at the time.

In short, there has been no let-up in global demand for fish of all types despite a difficult three years.

Norway exported 2.9 million tonnes of seafood in 2022, corresponding to 40 million meals every single day – all year round.

Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer said: “Norwegian seafood exports have had a historically strong year behind them. It is happening in a period that has been characterised by war in Europe, galloping energy prices, sky-high inflation and a weakened global purchasing power.

“A result of the demanding and troubled times is a sharp rise in prices, which last year resulted in record high prices for important species such as salmon, cod, mackerel, trout, pollock and .”

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said: “Norwegian seafood has reached another milestone. Behind the export value of NOK 151 billion lies a lot of hard work, and there are many who share the credit.

“We are in challenging times with high food prices as a result of the war in Ukraine and the effects of the corona pandemic.”

The Minister added: “Although the value of seafood exports has increased considerably, the volume has not increased overall. The fact that exports are still doing so well shows that the seafood industry is an adaptable industry with good people throughout the value chain who deliver products that are in demand. It is good for the whole country, and I have great faith in the further development of seafood exports.”

As expected, salmon is leading the way with exports exceeding NOK 100 bn for the first time.

The Seafood Council’s Chramer added: “Norwegian salmon has had an annual growth in export value of 14% over the past 10 years. These are fantastic figures and far above the other mainland exports in Norway.”

Christian Chramer

Salmon accounted for by far the largest share of Norwegian seafood exports, with 70% of the total value. Behind salmon came cod at 8% mackerel 4%. Trout 3% herring 3% and shellfish at 1%.

Chramer said: “Norwegian seafood is a robust global commodity that was sold to 149 markets last year. Our salmon is loved all over the globe, cod is very strong in Europe, mackerel dominates in Asia, rockfish is almost sacred in markets such as Portugal and Brazil.”

2022 was also a record year for farmed trout with the value rising by 24% to NOK 5bn (£416m), a rise of 24% on 2021. Sales to the United States were particularly strong which along with Thailand and Lithuania, was the main market.

Exports of fresh cod rose by 14% in value to NOK 2.,7bn (£225m) while 2022 was the best year yet for frozen cod which saw the export value rise by 27% to NOK 4.1bn (£341m). The UK was a particularly strong market for frozen cod last year.

Norwegian prawns continue to be popular in many countries with sales up by 27% to NOK 1,2bn (£100m).