Norway’s seafood exports once again increased year over year in Q3 2023, but a significant portion of that increase was related to a weaker krone. 
According to statistics collected by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), the country exported seafood worth NOK 42.1 billion (USD 3.8 billion, EUR 3.6 billion) in Q3 2023, an increase of NOK 3.7 billion (USD 336 million, EUR 320 million), or 10 percent, compared to the same period of 2022. Measured in krone, that is the best Q3 ever for Norwegian food exports, but measured in euros, the value represents a decrease of EUR 100 million (USD 105 million) compared to 2022.
”In terms of value, Norwegian seafood exports are still doing well. Salmon, trout, cod and pollock have had a historically strong third quarter behind them,” NSC CEO Christian Chramer said. “However, it is still the weak Norwegian krone that is the most important driver of value growth.”
Norwegian expoerts were buoyed by an extremely strong month of exports in September, with the country shipping out NOK 15.9 billion (USD 1.4 billion, EUR 1.3 billion) worth of seafood in the month – an increase of 9 percent, or NOK 1.3 billion (USD 118 million, EUR 112 million), over the same month in 2022. That total, the NSC said, is a record-high value for Norwegian seafood in single month when measured in kroner. 
For the first nine months of 2023, the country exported NOK 124.1 billion (USD 11.3 billion, EUR 10.7 billion) worth of seafood. That total is higher than the export total for the entirety of 2021, a record-breaking year when the country’s seafood exports earned NOK 120.8 billion (USD 11 billion, EUR 10.4 billion).
However, when the weaker currency is taken into account, the value of exports so far in 2023 is lower than that full-year total. In 2021, the full year of exports reached a value of USD 13.7 billion (then EUR 12.1 billion). 
“Although most of the growth in value in the third quarter can be explained by the weak Norwegian krone, seafood from Norway is still a highly sought-after global commodity with a very strong position in many markets,” Norway Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran said.
The weak krone is affecting seafood pricing for Norway’s exports. When measured in Norwegian krone, 15 of the 20 top seafood exports saw price increases, but when measured in euros, that total dropped to eight out of 20 products. 
“It tells of an underlying picture that is more muted than if we only look at the value development in the Norwegian krone,” Chramer said.
By market, Poland, Denmark, and the U.S. were the top three export destinations by value, and each country increased their imports by value by more than 10 percent, with Poland at NOK 5.4 billion (USD 491 million, EUR 467 million), an increase of 23 percent; Denmark at NOK 3.6 billion (USD 327 million, EUR 311 million), up 14 percent; and the U.S. at NOK 3.3 billion (USD 300 million, EUR 285 million), up 16 percent. 
Rounding out the top five, the Netherlands spent NOK 2.8 billion (USD 254 million, EUR 242 million) on Norwegian seafood, an increase of 18 percent; and France spent NOK 2.7 billion (USD 245 million, EUR 233 million), an increase of 8 percent. The only country in the top 10 destinations by value to see a decrease in value was the United Kingdom, which imported NOK 2 billion (USD 182 million, EUR 173 million) worth of Norwegian seafood, down 2 percent by value.

The Norwegian Seafood Council is hoping for a pick-up in sales to Asia. On 28 September, Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand Astrid Emilie Helle and NSC Southeast Asia Director Asbjorn Warvik Rørtveit joined Aswin Techajareonvikul, the CEO of Thailand-based retailer Big C, to launch a promotional campaign for Norwegian salmon. that will see all Big C Supercenters discount fresh salmon from Norway by 25 percent.
The campaign is key strategy for NSC, as the lion’s share of Norway’s seafood export value continued to be salmon in Q3 2023. The country exported NOK 31 billion (USD 2.8 billion, EUR 2.6 billion) worth of Atlantic salmon in Q3 2023, an increase of … 
Photo courtesy of Big C

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