Norwegian Seafood exports remained strong in July 2020 despite COVID-19 challenges. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Norwegian Seafood exports remained strong in July 2020 despite COVID-19 challenges. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 7.9 billion (€743.4m/£671.5m) in July 2020 according to the Norwegian Seafood Council.

This saw the country maintain the same export levels as July 2019. So far this year, Norway has exported seafood worth NOK 60.8 billion (€5.7 billion/£5.1 billion). Export value has increased by 3 percent, or NOK 1.9 billion compared to the same period last year.

Three highlights from July export statistics:

The value of seafood exports equalled last year’s record for July. Contributing factors include:

  • A weakened Norwegian krone has contributed to an increase overall, but there are relatively large differences between seafood species. Saithe and herring prices have held up relatively well compared with more expensive species such as salmon and cod where we see somewhat lower prices measured in euros and dollars
  • We are experiencing weaker demand for salmon, especially in some Asian markets.
  • It has been a good July for exports of frozen whitefish, compared with the same period last year. There are still challenges for some conventional markets.

“The currency situation is still favourable for export value, but the Norwegian krone has strengthened recently. At the same time, the situation in Asia has still not normalised after suspicions of infection in a food market in China in June. At the same time, general tourism is lower than last year, with fewer freight options and some restrictions in individual markets. The European markets are importing larger volumes overall, but at a lower price”, says director of market insight and market access at the Norwegian Seafood Council, Tom-Jørgen Gangsø.

Salmon exports worth NOK 5.6 billion – growth in volume

Norway exported 94,800 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 5.6 billion (€527m/£476m) in July. This is a volume increase of 6 percent but a reduction in value of 2 percent or NOK 132 million (€12.4m/£11.2m) from July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 595,000 tonnes of salmon for NOK 40.6 billion (€3.8bn/£3.45bn). The volume and value remain at the same level as last year. The average price for whole, fresh salmon in July was NOK 54.43 (€5.12/£4.63) per kg against NOK 59.60 (€5.60/£5.07) per kg in July last year.

“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 are China, Hong Kong and Sweden. The supply of salmon to Poland, France and Germany, on the other hand, increased sharply”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Large increase in volume of trout exports

Norway exported 7,200 tonnes of trout worth NOK 345 million (€32.5m/29.3m) in July. This is a volume increase of 43 percent and a value increase of 15 percent or 45 million (€4.2m/£3.8m) compared to July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 38,700 tonnes of trout for NOK 2.2 billion (€207m/£187m). This is a volume growth of 31 percent and an increase in value of 11 percent or NOK 209 million (€19.6m/£17.7m) from the same period last year.

Ukraine, USA and Finland were our largest trout markets in July.

Fresh and frozen cod see exports increase

Norway exported 1,900 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, to a value of NOK 84 million (€7.9m/£7.1m) in July. This is an increase in volume of 31 per cent and an increase in value of 16 per cent or NOK 12 million from July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 37,900 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, for NOK 1.7 billion (€160m/£144.5m). This is a volume decrease of 8 per cent and a decrease in value of 3 per cent or NOK 51 million (€4.8bn/£4.3bn) compared to the same period last year.

Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands were the largest markets for fresh cod in July.

“It is low season for both catch and export of fresh cod at this time of year. The large percentage increase in the volume of fresh cod in July this year must be seen in connection with somewhat increased landings of fresh cod this year compared with July last year. The price is lower than last year, but on its way up again from the bottom in May, which is normal at this time of year”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Norway exported 5,800 tonnes of frozen cod, including fillets, worth NOK 240 million (€22.5m/£20.4m) in July. This is an increase in volume of 36 per cent and an increase in value of 37 per cent or NOK 65 million (€6.1m/£5.5m) compared to July 2019.

So far this year, Norway has exported 46,200 tonnes of frozen cod, including fillets, for NOK 2.1 billion (€197.6/£178.5m). This is an increase in volume of 5 per cent and an increase in value of 14 per cent or NOK 260 million (€24.5m/£22.1m) from the same period last year.

China, the United Kingdom and the United States were the largest markets for frozen cod in July.

“There is volume growth for both frozen whole and fillets of cod. The largest volume growth for frozen fillets is in the United Kingdom and the United States in July, while exports of frozen whole cod increase to China, the United Kingdom and Portugal. The price of frozen fillet remains the same as last year, while the price of frozen whole cod continues to fall and is now below the 2018 level, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“At the same time, it is worth noting that blue halibut was the fourth most valuable whitefish species we exported in July. There has been a large growth compared to last year, which was an unusually weak month. Blue halibut is also one of the whitefish species with the greatest growth in July, and much of this was destined for the Chinese market”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen.

Significant decline in clipfish exports

Norway exported 4,500 tonnes of whole clipfish to a value of NOK 225 million (€21.1m/£19.1m) in July. This is a volume reduction of 18 per cent, and a reduction in value of NOK 48 million or 18 per cent from July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 43,100 tonnes of whole clipfish worth NOK 2.2 billion (€207m/£187m). This is a volume decrease of 8 percent, while the value is at the same level as last year.

Portugal, Dominican Rep. And Jamaica were the largest markets for clipfish in July.

“The uncertainty in the conventional markets still affects exports. In July, there has been a decline in both cod and saithe clipfish. The price of saithe clipfish is still higher than last year, measured in Norwegian kroner. Converted into other currencies such as EURO and USD, prices have fallen during last year for both cod and saithe clipfish. We are still seeing growth in exports of saithe clipfish to the Dominican Republic, while exports to Congo and Congo-Brazzaville have decreased significantly in July compared to the same period last year”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, sea analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Small increase in exports of salted fish

Norway exported 900 tonnes of salted fish for NOK 45 million (€4.2m/£3.8m) in July. This is a volume increase of 3 percent and a value increase of 1 percent or NOK 0.5 million (€47,050/£42,500)compared to July 2019.

So far this year, Norway has exported 17,000 tonnes of salted fish for NOK 1 billion (€94.1m/£85m). There is a volume decrease of 4 percent, and an increase in value of 3 per cent or NOK 33 million (€3.1m/£2.8m) from the same period last year.

Portugal, Spain and Canada were the largest salted fish markets in July.

“July is a slow season for salted fish exports. There is a decline in exports to the main market, Portugal, while there has been some growth to both Spain and Canada in June,” says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, seafood analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Increase in stockfish exports

Norway exported 222 tonnes of whole stockfish to a value of NOK 36 million (€3.4m/£3.0m) in July. The volume increased by 1 percent, while the value increased by NOK 7 million (€660,00/£595,000) or 22 percent from the same month last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 1,800 tonnes of stockfish for NOK 336 million (31.6m/£28.5m). This is a volume decrease of 7 percent and a reduction in value of NOK 14 million or 4 percent from the same period last year.

Italy, the United Kingdom and Nigeria were the largest stockfish markets in July.

Down for herring, but an increase for mackerel

As in the whitefish sector, July is the low season for pelagic fisheries. Norway exported 10,400 tonnes of herring for NOK 144 million (€13.5m/£12.3m) in July. This represents a reduction in volume of 28 percent, while the value fell by 6 percent or NOK 9 million (€850,000/£765,000) compared with July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 167,000 tonnes of herring for NOK 1.9 billion (€179m/£161.5). This is a volume reduction of 2 percent, and an increase in value of 28 per cent or NOK 418 million from the same period last year.

Poland, the Netherlands and Lithuania were the largest markets for herring in July.

Norway exported 7,500 tonnes of mackerel for NOK 131 million (€12.3m/£11.1m) in July. The volume increase was 14 percent and the value increased by 14 percent or NOK 16 million (€1.5m/£1.3m) compared with July last year. 

So far this year, Norway has exported 124,000 tonnes of mackerel for NOK 2.2 billion (€207m/£187m). This is an increase in volume of 42 percent, and an increase in value of 45 percent or NOK 674 million (€63.4/£57.2) from the same period last year.

Vietnam, the Netherlands and South Korea were the largest markets for mackerel in July.

Decline in exports of king crab and prawns

Norway exported 200 tonnes of king crab totalling NOK 66 million (€6.2m/£5.6m) in July. This is a volume decrease of 13 percent, while the value is at the same level as last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 816 tonnes of king crab for NOK 275 million (€25.9/£23.5m). There is a volume reduction of 23 percent, and a reduction in value of 16 per cent or NOK 53 million (€5m/£4.5m).

South Korea, the Netherlands and Spain were the largest markets for king crab in July.

Norway exported 566 tonnes of prawns for NOK 43 million (€4.5m/£3.7m) in July. There is a decrease in volume of 14 percent, while the value fell by NOK 13 million (€1.2m/£1.1m) or 24 percent.

So far this year, Norway has exported 6,100 tonnes of prawns for NOK 491 million (€46.2m/£41.7m). There is a volume reduction of 24 percent, and a reduction in value of 18 per cent or NOK 106 million (€10m/£9m).

Sweden and Finland were the largest markets for prawns in July.

Source: Norwegian Seafood Council

Brian J McMullin Solicitors
MMG Welding Killybegs

Norwegian Seafood exports remains strong despite COVID-19 challenges

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