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Norway earned 25 percent more from its seafood exports in 2022, with its export total surprassing 2021’s record value by NOK 30.7 billion (USD 3 billion, EUR 2.9 billion) to reach NOK 151.4 billion (USD 15 billion, EUR 14.1 billion).
The value of Norway’s seafood exports have tripled since 2012, when the country’s seafood trade totaled NOK 47.7 billion (USD 4.7 billion, EUR 4.5 billion).
Despite the record value, Norway’s total exported seafood volume of 2.9 million metric tons (MT) fell 200,000 MT short of 2021’s total. The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) confirmed lower trade volumes for several species, including salmon, herring, mackerel, cod, king crab, and snow crab.
Citing “demanding and troubled times,” with the record total achieved in a “period characterized by war in Europe, galloping energy prices, sky-high inflation, and weakened global purchasing power,” NSC CEO Christian Chramer said prices had risen sharply, with salmon, cod, mackerel, trout, pollock, and herring prices hitting all-time highs.
NSC’s data finds that Norway exported 1.3 million MT of fish from aquaculture operations last year, with a value of NOK 111.3 billion (USD 11 billion, EUR 10.4 billion). While this volume decreased by 2.5 percent compared with 2021, the value increased by 30 percent or NOK 25.7 billion (USD 2.5 billion, EUR 2.4 billion).
For fisheries, 2022’s exports totaled 1.6 million MT – worth some NOK 40.1 billion (USD 4 billion, EUR 3.7 billion), with volumes falling 7.5 percent and value climbing 14 percent, or NOK 5 billion (USD 495.6 million, EUR 467.1 million) year-on-year.
Norway derived 73 percent of its exports by value and 45 percent by volume from aquaculture. Conversely, wild-catch fisheries made up 27 percent of Norway’s seafood exports measured in value and 55 percent of trade volumes.
In value terms, farmed salmon continued to be Norway’s leading seafood export in 2022, reaching with a record NOK 105.8 billion (USD 10.5 billion, EUR 9.9 billion) in foreign sales, up 30 percent, or NOK 24.6 billion (USD 2.4 billion, EUR 2.3 billion), on 2021. This latest increase means that Norwegian salmon has achieved an annual growth in export value of 14 percent over the past 10 years.
NSC said fresh salmon fillets hit record-high prices in 2022, with the product reaching an average price of NOK 117 (USD 11.59, EUR 10.93) per kilogram. This was NOK 13 (USD 1.29, EUR 1.21) per kilogram higher than 2019, the previous record year. Fresh whole salmon also reached a record-high price of NOK 79 (USD 7.83, EUR 7.38) per kilogram, up NOK 18 (USD 1.78, EUR 1.68) per kilogram on the previous record in 2018.
In value terms, cod exports followed at NOK 12.2 billion (USD 1.2 billion, EUR 1.1 billion) last year, up 25 percent. Mackerel, trout, and herring completed the list of Norway’s top five seafood exports by value, respectively accounting for NOK 6.3 billion (USD 624.2 million, EUR 588.3 million), NOK 5 billion (USD 495.4 million, EUR 466.9 million), and NOK 3.9 billion (USD 386.4 million, EUR 364.2 million) in sales.
Chramer cautioned that Norway cannot take further export growth for granted in 2023, pointing to uncertainties in global trade resulting from the war in Ukraine, an increase in trade barriers, and a Covid-19 pandemic that “does not let up.” Additionally, consumers in markets across the world experiencing weakened purchasing power, and competition from other nations and other protein sources is increasing, he said.
In 2022, Norway exported NOK 15.5 billion (USD 1.5 billion, EUR 1.4 billion) worth of seafood to Poland, NOK 12.6 billion (USD 1.2 billion, EUR 1.2 billion) worth of products to Denmark, and NOK 11.7 billion (USD 1.2 billion, EUR 1.1 billion) to the U.S. Compared with 2021, these totals were up 24 percent, 22 percent, and 46 percent, respectively.
Chramer said the stronger U.S. dollar contributed to increased exports to the U.S. market. Norway’s total seafood export volume to the U.S. ended at 114,510 MT, which was 15 percent higher than in 2021. For salmon alone, U.S. exports amounted to NOK 3.2 billion (USD 316.8 million, EUR 298.7 million), up 57 percent, while the volume climbed 22 percent to 66,000 MT. It was also the main market for Norwegian trout, purchasing 8,629 MT of the product.  
Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Seafood Council
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