Strong growth in seafood exports

Published: by Ann-Kristin Kristoffersen

Following two years of declining seafood exports, 2013 showed strong growth and a new export record was set, with the value of seafood exports totalling NOK 61 billion. This is 17 percent more than in 2012.

The value of last year's seafood exports is 13 percent higher than the previous record of NOK 53.8 billion set in 2010.

"The key explanation for this new export record is the strong demand for Norwegian salmon on the world market, which has resulted in high prices in 2013," says CEO Terje E. Martinussen from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Last year, the average price for fresh whole Norwegian salmon was NOK 39.74 per kg. This is 44 percent more than in 2012. The value of exports of Norwegian salmon and Norwegian Fjord Trout in 2013 totalled NOK 42.2 billion.

"Another central feature of the record year 2013 is that Norway has never before exported so much cod," adds Terje E. Martinussen. "In particular, exports of fresh and frozen whole Norwegian cod have seen good growth. Never before has Norway sold as much fresh cod or received greater revenue from its exports than we had last year."

By the end of the year, Norway had exported 56 percent more fresh Norwegian Cod compared with 2012. The value of these exports was also 19 percent higher.

"As is common knowledge, the quota was substantial, so this segment of the seafood industry has taken a sizeable price cut to achieve this position," explains Terje E. Martinussen. "We have also noted with satisfaction that fresh Norwegian cod products and in particular fresh skrei, a seasonal product, are becoming increasingly popular. This is the case, for instance, in the markets in Sweden and the UK. Given that the seafood industry is taking care to ensure quality and to a greater degree tailor supplies to the market, I believe there is the potential to realise even greater returns from exports of fresh Norwegian Cod in the years ahead."

The value of Norway's exports of cod, saithe and haddock in 2013 totalled NOK 10 billion. The value of groundfish exports is thus on a par with the previous year, while the volume of exports has increased by 11 percent.

Russia our most important market

Currently, Norway exports seafood to some 140 countries worldwide, of which Russia is the most important market. In 2013, the value of exports of Norwegian seafood to Russia totalled NOK 6.6 billion, up by 10 percent from the previous year. This also positions Russia as the fourth biggest growth market for Norwegian seafood in 2013.

France is the second biggest market for Norwegian seafood, with exports valued at NOK 5.9 billion, an increase of 20 percent from the previous year. This positions France as the second biggest growth market, second only to Poland.

The EU is the most important market area for the Norwegian seafood industry. In 2013, fully 59 percent of all seafood exports from Norway were destined for the EU. Norway is also the leading supplier of seafood to the countries of the EU.

Lower exports of pelagic fish

Norway exported pelagic fish to a value of NOK 6.5 billion in 2013. This is a reduction of 18 percent from the previous year and is largely attributable to lower quotas and lower prices for herring. The value of mackerel exports totalled NOK 2.9 billion, a decline of 4 percent. 

Exports of prawns and shellfish in 2013 were valued at NOK 475 million, down by 42 per cent compared to 2012. 

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