Salmon figures up despite market turbulence

Norwegian Seafood Council analyst Paul Aandahl

Norway’s seafood exports, including salmon, held up surprisingly well last month, given the turbulent state of global markets in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, latest figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council today show. They totalled 7.9 billion kroner (£664 million) in July, the same level as July last year.

The country’s fish farmers exported 94,800 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 5.6 billion (£471 million) last month, a volume increase of six per cent, but a reduction in value of two per cent or NOK 132 million (£11 million). The average price for whole, fresh salmon was NOK 54.43 per kilo against NOK 59.60 12 months earlier.

Seafood Council analyst Paul T. Aandahl said:

‘Weakened demand for Norwegian salmon, especially in Asia, as a result of Covid-19, is the reason for the decline in value for salmon in July. Markets that have bought significantly smaller volumes (in the past month) are China, Hong Kong and Sweden. But the supply of salmon to Poland, France and Germany, on the other hand, increased sharply.”

So far this year, Norway has exported 595,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 40.6 billion (around £3.4 billion). Volumes and value are running at the same level as last year.

Farmed trout sales performed well last month, totalling 7,200 tonnes and were worth NOK 345 million (£29 million), a volume rise of 43 per cent and the value up by 15 per cent. Exports for the year so far are also well up with the Ukraine, the United States and Finland the largest markets. Exports of both fresh and frozen cod also rose last month despite it being the low season for whitefish. Seafood Council analyst Tom-Jørgen Gangsø said sales were helped by a weaker Norwegian krone with species such as saithe and herring performing better in price compared to more expensive species such as salmon and cod. Sales of salmon had still not normalised following the infection scare at a Beijing food market in June. while tourism (and subsequently catering) continued to be affected by the pandemic.