All time record quarter for Norwegian cod

Norway exported 676,000 tonnes of seafood with a value of NOK 23.7 billion in the first quarter. This is a volume decline of 8 per cent and a decline of 2 per cent or NOK 488 million compared with the first quarter last year.

“This is the best quarter for cod ever, with a total export value of over NOK 3 billion. In particular, clipfish, salted fish and fresh whole cod in particular have experienced price increases, with 19, 12 and 7 per cent respectively. This is due to strong demand in our most important consumer markets, such as Portugal and Spain”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, seafood analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Clipfish exports are up

Norway exported 21,500 tonnes of clipfish with a value of NOK 943 million in the first quarter. This is a decrease of 3 per cent in volume, but export value increased by NOK 24 million or 3 per cent. Portugal, Brazil and the Dominican Republic were the main markets for clipfish in the first quarter.

“We see that especially cod clipfish enhances the value of the clipfish category. This is due to a sharp rise in prices, in particular, demand has remained strong for clipfish in Portugal. This price increase has been passed along to the consumer. At the same time, we have seen a slight decline in clipfish consumption in the home market in recent years. On the other hand, consumption figures suggest that total consumption (both domestic and abroad) has not fallen noticeably. It appears that the traditional dried and salted cut fish are more sensitive to price increases than frozen fish” says Johnny Thomassen, Director with the Norwegian Seafood Councils operations in Portugal.

Salted fish exports are up

Norway exported 8,700 tonnes of salted fish with a value of NOK 429 million in the first quarter. This is an increase in volume of 4 per cent, and an increase in value of NOK 68 million or 19 per cent. Portugal, Greece and Spain were the main markets for salted fish in the first quarter.

Increases in both fresh and frozen cod

Norway exported 32,000 tonnes of fresh cod, including skrei, worth NOK 1.1 billion in the first quarter. This is a slight decrease in volume from last year, while export value has increased by NOK 42 million or 4 per cent. Of this, Skrei accounts for 4,300 tonnes, which is an increase of 3 per cent. Norway exported NOK 166 million in the first quarter. This is an increase of NOK 14 million or 9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Norway exported 22,000 tonnes of frozen cod with a value of NOK 772 million in the first quarter. This is an increase in volume of 5 per cent, while export values increased by NOK 86 million or 13 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“Usually we see that the price of fresh whole cod and skrei declines in March, but this year the price has actually increased. Skrei volumes have also increased during the same period”, says seafood analyst Ingrid Kristine Pettersen.

Positive price trend for salmon

Norway exported 246,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 15.8 billion in the first quarter. This is an increase of 6 per cent, measured in volume, while export value fell by NOK 240 million or 1.5 per cent compared with the first quarter last year. The average price for fresh whole salmon fell from NOK 65.43 to NOK 61.11 per kg. Poland, France and the United States were the largest markets for Norwegian salmon in the first quarter.

“A strong growth in salmon prices in recent months means that we are optimistic about the further development of seafood exports for 2018. For example, the average price in November for fresh whole salmon was NOK 50.50 per kg. In March, this had risen to NOK 67.59 per kg. High campaign activity in large markets such as France, Britain and Italy in combination with a strong Euro has contributed to a price boost for salmon” said Paul T. Aandahl, seafood analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Trout exports are down

Norway exported 9,800 tonnes of trout worth NOK 633 million in the first quarter. Export volumes increased by 14 per cent, while export values fell by NOK 43 million or 6 per cent compared with the first quarter last year. Belarus, the US and Poland were our largest markets for Norwegian trout in the first quarter.

Herring and mackerel are down

Norway exported 89,000 tonnes of herring with a total value of NOK 756 million in the first quarter. This is an increase in volume of 18 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 108 million or 13 per cent. Germany, Poland and Lithuania were the main markets for Norwegian herring in the first quarter.

“The price of herring continues to be low. We have not seen lower prices for herring since 2011. This is largely linked to increased quotas in recent years in combination with lack of access to the historically important herring markets such as Russia. Current prices are at a level where African markets again start to buy Norwegian herring. For example, Egypt has increased its import volumes by 123% to over 12,000 tonnes, compared with the same period last year”, says Aandahl.

Norway exported 52,000 tonnes of mackerel worth NOK 654 million in the first quarter. This is a decrease of 23 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 160 million or 20 per cent. Turkey, South Korea and China were the largest markets for Norwegian mackerel in the first quarter.

King crab exports are down but prawns is up

Norway exported 450 tonnes of king crab worth a total of NOK 126 million in the first quarter. This is a decrease of 14 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 14 million or 10 per cent.

For prawns, the volume increase was 12 per cent to a total of 2,000 tonnes, while the value increased by NOK 27 million to a total export value of NOK 165 million or 19 per cent in the first quarter.

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