US and Chinese markets drive Norway’s export success

Poland and Denmark, both with large salmon processing sectors, continued to be the largest markets for Norwegian salmon last year, according to the annual figures published by the Norwegian Seafood Council.

But seafood sales to the UK, which traditionally buys a great deal of Norwegian cod and haddock, increased by 27% to NOK 7.8 bn (£650m) in 2022.

The United States showed the most dramatic rise at 46% with much of it salmon while sales to China rose by 45% despite some large cities facing Covid shutdowns.

Figures released yesterday by the Council showed that Norwegian seafood exports reached NOK 151.4bn (£12.6bn), a record value, in 2022.

Seafood Council analyst Eivind Hestvik Brækkan said: “We have also seen significant growth in the export value to Great Britain, driven by increased exports of frozen whole cod. We have to go all the way back to the year 2000 to find a higher export value of frozen cod to Great Britain.

The main 2022 export markets published by the Norwegian Seafood Council is (increases are on 2021 figures):

1.      Poland: NOK 15.5bn (+24%)

2.      Denmark: NOK 12.6 bn (+22%)

3.      USA: NOK 11.7 bn (+46%)

4.      France: NOK 10.6 bn (+29%)

5.      The Netherlands: NOK 9.4bn (+34%)

6.      Great Britain: NOK 7.8 bn (+27%)

7.      Spain: NOK 7.3 bn (+21%)

8.      China: NOK 7.3 bn (+45%)

9.      Italy: NOK 6.6 bn (+30%)

10.  Portugal: NOK 4.9 bn (+38%)

The main species exported in 2022 were:

1.      Salmon: NOK 105.8 bn (+30%)

2.      Cod: NOK 12.2 bn (+25%)

3.      Mackerel: NOK 6.3 bn (+7%)

4.      Trout: NOK 5 bn (+24%)

5.      Herring: NOK 3.9 bn (-9%)

6.      Sei: NOK 3.6 bn (+44%)

Last year, aquaculture accounted for 73% of Norway’s total seafood exports by value, while in volume it made up 45%.

  • In 2022, Norway exported 1.3m tonnes of seafood from aquaculture
  • The value was NOK 111.3bn
  • The volume fell by 2.5 per cent
  • The value increased by NOK 25.7bn, or 30%, compared to 2021.
  • The salmon value increased by NOK 24.6bn (£2bn), or 30% compared to 2021. The volume fell by 2%.

Paul Aandahl

Seafood analyst Paul T. Aandahl said the USA had the largest increase in value last year, with an increase in export value of NOK 3.2bn, or 57% compared to the previous year. The export volume to the USA ended at around 66,000 tonnes, which is 22% per cent higher than the previous year, he added.

The year also saw a record high price for fresh salmon fillets at NOK 117 or £9.75p per kilo.

There was also a record high price for fresh whole salmon at  NOK 79 or £6.50 per kilo.

Aandahl said it is the price increase that contributed to most of the value increase for salmon last year: “The reopening of society after the corona pandemic has had a positive effect on the demand for salmon.

“An increase in demand in combination with a slight decrease in produced volume, both globally and in Norway, is the most important reason for the price increase – in addition to increased further processing and a weakened Norwegian krone,” he maintained.

Last year, fishing accounted for 27% of the total seafood export measured in value, while in volume it made up 55%.