Norwegian seafood exports fall for the first time in 18 months

SeafoodSeafood.Photo: Berit Roald / SCANPIX
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For the first time since September 2018, Norway has experienced a fall in the value of its seafood exports. In April, 183,000 tonnes of Norwegian seafood were exported to a value of NOK 8.2 billion. This is a decrease of NOK 666 million, or 8 per cent, compared with April 2019. Volumes were also down 7 percent compared to April 2019.

For the first time since September 2018, Norway has experienced a fall in the value of its seafood exports. In April, 183,000 tonnes of Norwegian seafood was exported to a value of NOK 8.2 billion. This is a decrease of NOK 666 million, or 8 per cent, compared with April 2019. Volumes were also down 7 percent compared to April 2019. 

“A significant fall in demand for salmon and whitefish in April as a result of the corona crisis is the main reason. This can be evidenced by the decline of the restaurant segment and increased air freight costs for the transportation of fresh products to overseas markets”, says Director of Market Insight and Market Access at the Norwegian Seafood Council, Tom-Jørgen Gangsø.

So far this year, NOK 36.7 billion of Norwegian seafood has been exported. This is an increase in value by 2.2 billion, or 6 per cent, compared to the same period last year.


“This year can be split in two for seafood exports, before and after the corona crisis. 2020 started off well with a strong increase in value due to increased demand for Norwegian seafood products. This positive trend came to an abrupt end within the introduction of measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, which is why we are seeing exports fall for the first time in 18 months”, says Director of Market Insight and Market Access in the Norwegian Seafood Council, Tom-Jørgen Gangsø.

Significant uncertainty


Despite a marked weakening of the Norwegian krone, the export value of Norwegian seafood fell by 8 per cent in April.

“Local measures to reduce the spread of the virus lead to changes in the flow of goods. This is especially true for fresh fish. For example, we see growth in a market like Spain, while there is a decline in Italy. We also find that the corona crisis has led to layoffs and increased unemployment globally. There is considerable uncertainty about how weakened purchasing power will affect demand for Norwegian seafood in the long run. We are already seeing a fall in demand for clipfish, including in Brazil” says Gangsø.

Source: Norwegian Seafood Council / Norway Today

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