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Norway’s seafood exports were worth NOK 41.4bn (£3.2bn) during the first three months of this year, official figures show today.
This represents an increase of NOK 7.4bn (£573m) or 22%, over the same period last year.
The Norwegian Seafood Council, which compiles the figures, said exports achieved a historically strong quarter in terms of value.
A significantly weaker krone and price growth in the markets for species such as salmon, cod, trout, pollock and herring are the main explanations for the growth.
“This led, among other things, to the export value in March becoming the highest ever in a single month,” said Norwegian Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer.
He added, however: “There are many value records in the first quarter, for example for salmon and in the whitefish category, but when we look behind the numbers, it is not as cheerful.
“Strong food inflation and the weak krone explain a good part of the increase in value, and in addition the export volume of cod and salmon is falling, which helps to raise prices.”
The weak krone alone contributed to lifting the export value by around NOK 3bn (£230m) in the first quarter, while increased prices in the markets contributed NOK 6 billion (£465m).
Chramer said: “The drop in volume, in turn, reduced the export value by around NOK 1.8 billion.
“World trade will also be affected in 2023 by war and turmoil in the world economy, so we are still living in challenging times. This is felt out in the markets, where consumers are now seriously experiencing that their purchasing power is weakening.”
Fisheries Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said: “I am satisfied that seafood from Norway continues to be popular around the world.”
A total of 693,400 tonnes of seafood was sold overseas between January and March, down by 8.7% on the same period last year.
Salmon was one of the species that saw a year-on-year fall in volume, down by 6% compared to the first quarter of last year. In the short term, this helped to lift prices to historically high levels, said CEO Christian Chramer.
In the first quarter, there was also a decrease in volume for important white fish species such as cod and haddock, while snow crab, pollock and mackerel experienced growth in volume in the period.
Salmon exports in March shot up by 34% in value to NOK 11.3bn (£875m) thanks to record high prices during the month, but volumes at 93,700 tonnes were down by 4%.
Trout exports during the first quarter were worth NOK 1.1bn (£85m), a rise of 18% on a year ago. The volume at 10,200 tonnes dropped by 12%.
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