Producers in Norway exported NoK41.4 billion worth of seafood in the first quarter of this year, an increase of NoK7.4 billion over the same period last year and representing a 22% increase.
‘I’m satisfied that seafood from Norway continues to be popular around the world. Norwegian seafood is sustainable and a good food choice for people of all ages and countries,’ commented Minster for Fisheries and Oceans Bjørnar Skjæran.
‘Norwegian seafood exports have come through a historically strong quarter in terms of value. A significantly weaker Norwegian krone and price growth in the markets for species such as salmon, cod, trout, pollock and herring is the main explanation for the growth. This led, among other things, to the export value in March being the highest ever in a single month,’ said the Norwegian Seafood Council’s magaging director Christian Chramer.
‘Many value records have been set in the first quarter, for example for salmon and in the whitefish category, but when we look behind the numbers, the picture is not so positive. Strong food inflation and the weak krone explain a large 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 was the main reason for lifting the export value by around NoK3 billion in the first quarter, while increased prices in the markets contributed NoK6 billion. The fall in volume, reduced the export value by around NoK1.8 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 keenly in the markets, where consumers are now experiencing that their purchasing power has been substantially weakened,’ Christian Chramer said.
Exports to the USA had the greatest growth in value in the first quarter of this year, with an increase in export value of NoK1 billion. Salmon is driving the increasing export value to the American market, but trout and frozen snow crab have also had a strong first quarter.
‘It’s positive that the USA has proven to be a strong growth market for several species in the first quarter. For king crab and snow crab, the USA is one of the biggest markets this quarter, with growth in both value and volume,’ Bjørnar Skjæran said.
Despite lower quotas, a lot of bad weather and a late skrei season, the first quarter was notable for a high export value for fresh whole skrei. High inflation and lower volume in the market contributed to the growth in Norwegian kroner.
‘The volume of exports to Spain, an important skrei market, has increased significantly in the first quarter, and 2023 could be the best skrei season of all time in Spain. In challenging economic times, it is particularly gratifying that the demand for skrei remains so strong in important European markets,’ Christian Chramer said.
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