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Exports experiencing weaker demand for salmon, especially in some Asian markets

Norwegian salmon and trout exports grew in July and cod played a good role

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Wednesday, August 05, 2020, 16:00 (GMT + 9)

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 7.9 billion in July, maintaining the same export levels as July 2019. So far this year, Norway has exported seafood worth NOK 60.8 billion. Export value has increased by 3 percent, or NOK 1.9 billion compared to the same period last year.

Three highlights from July export statistics

The value of seafood exports equalled last year's record for July. Contributing factors include:

  • A weakened Norwegian krone has contributed to an increase overall, but there are relatively large differences between seafood species. Saithe and herring prices have held up relatively well compared with more expensive species such as salmon and cod where we see somewhat lower prices measured in euros and dollars
  • We are experiencing weaker demand for salmon, especially in some Asian markets.
  • It has been a good July for exports of frozen whitefish, compared with the same period last year. There are still challenges for some conventional markets.

“The currency situation is still favourable for export value, but the Norwegian krone has strengthened recently. At the same time, the situation in Asia has still not normalized after suspicions of infection in a food market in China in June. At the same time, general tourism is lower than last year, with fewer freight options and some restrictions in individual markets. The European markets are importing larger volumes overall, but at a lower price”, says director of market insight and market access at the Norwegian Seafood Council, Tom-Jørgen Gangsø.

Salmon exports worth NOK 5.6 billion – growth in volume

Norway exported 94,800 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 5.6 billion in July. This is a volume increase of 6 per cent but a reduction in value of 2 per cent or NOK 132 million from July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 595,000 tonnes of salmon for NOK 40.6 billion. The volume and value remain at the same level as last year. The average price for whole, fresh salmon in July was NOK 54.43 per kg against NOK 59.60 per kg in July last year.

“Weakened demand for Norwegian salmon, especially in Asia, as a result of covid-19, is the reason for the decline in value for salmon in July. Markets that have bought significantly smaller volumes are China, Hong Kong and Sweden. The supply of salmon to Poland, France and Germany, on the other hand, increased sharply”, says Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Large increase in volume of trout exports

Norway exported 7,200 tonnes of trout worth NOK 345 million in July. This is a volume increase of 43 per cent and a value increase of 15 per cent or 45 million compared to July last year.

So far this year, Norway has exported 38,700 tonnes of trout for NOK 2.2 billion. This is a volume growth of 31 per cent and an increase in value of 11 per cent or NOK 209 million from the same period last year.

Ukraine, USA and Finland were our largest trout markets in July.

Fresh and frozen cod see exports increase

Norway exported 1,900 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, to a value of NOK 84 million in July. This is an increase in volume of 31 per cent and an increase in value of 16 per cent or NOK 12 million from July last year.

Cod academy, Seafood from Norway

So far this year, Norway has exported 37,900 tonnes of fresh cod, including fillets, for NOK 1.7 billion. This is a volume decrease of 8 per cent and a decrease in value of 3 per cent or NOK 51 million compared to the same period last year.

Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands were the largest markets for fresh cod in July.

“It is low season for both catch and export of fresh cod at this time of year. The large percentage increase in the volume of fresh cod in July this year must be seen in connection with somewhat increased landings of fresh cod this year compared with July last year. The price is lower than last year, but on its way up again from the bottom in May, which is normal at this time of year”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Norway exported 5,800 tonnes of frozen cod, including fillets, worth NOK 240 million in July. This is an increase in volume of 36 per cent and an increase in value of 37 per cent or NOK 65 million compared to July 2019.

So far this year, Norway has exported 46,200 tonnes of frozen cod, including fillets, for NOK 2.1 billion. This is an increase in volume of 5 per cent and an increase in value of 14 per cent or NOK 260 million from the same period last year.

China, the United Kingdom and the United States were the largest markets for frozen cod in July.

Cod academy, Seafood from Norway

“There is volume growth for both frozen whole and fillets of cod. The largest volume growth for frozen fillets is in the United Kingdom and the United States in July, while exports of frozen whole cod increase to China, the United Kingdom and Portugal. The price of frozen fillet remains the same as last year, while the price of frozen whole cod continues to fall and is now below the 2018 level, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“At the same time, it is worth noting that blue halibut was the fourth most valuable whitefish species we exported in July. There has been a large growth compared to last year, which was an unusually weak month. Blue halibut is also one of the whitefish species with the greatest growth in July, and much of this was destined for the Chinese market”, says Ingrid Kristine Pettersen.

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