NORWAY today reported its best February seafood export performance so far, thanks once again to the rising value of salmon.
Although volumes were down by 57,000 tonnes on a year ago, this reduction was mainly due to a big drop in fishing for capelin.
The overall value rose by nine per cent to NOK 7.8 billion (£683.5 million), explained Norway Seafood Council analyst Kristine Pettersen.
She said revenues from farmed salmon, white fish and pelagic species such as herring and mackerel were all well up.
But it is salmon which is clearly wearing the export crown. In February, 80,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 5.1 billion (£447 million) went overseas, a volume increase of seven per cent, but a value increase of 11 per cent or NOK 492 million.
Already this year, 166,000 tonnes of salmon have been exported at a value of NOK 10.7 billion (£937.5 million), around NOK 1.1 billion more than 12 months ago.
Seafood Council salmon analyst Paul T. Aandahl said: ‘The largest emerging markets in February were Poland, Denmark and Lithuania.
‘These are markets where a high proportion of salmon is processed for export to other markets, mainly within the EU.
‘We see positive trends, especially in the consumption of smoked salmon in markets such as Germany, France and Italy.’
The average price for fresh whole salmon in February was NOK 58.94 per kg, compared to NOK 58.34 per kilo in February last year.
Sales of farmed trout, which appeared to be sluggish not so long ago, are also picking up sharply following an equally successful January start.
The February export figure rose by 22 per cent to 3,600 tonnes, while the value went up by 37 per cent to NOK 251 million.
Norway’s main markets for trout continue to be the United States, Thailand and Belarus.