Weak Norwegian kroner leads to best ever first half year for seafood exports

SalmonSalmon.Photo: Pixabay

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The export value of Norwegian seafood reached an all-time high for the first half of the year. In the first six months of this year, Norway exported seafood with a value of NOK 52.9 billion. This is an increase in value of 3.5 per cent, or NOK 1.8 billion, measured against the first half of 2019.

“Despite a very challenging spring with the corona crisis, we have still seen growth in seafood exports in the first half of the year. Salmon, trout, herring and mackerel have increased the most compared to the first half of 2019. A weak Norwegian krone is the main factor driving growth”, says Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“Increased quotas for mackerel, increased production of trout and a turn towards more consumption of salmon fillet have also helped to raise export value”, says Larsen.

Three important factors

Although the overall picture shows growth in value for Norwegian seafood exports in the first half of the year, Renate Larsen emphasizes that several species and product types have experienced a decline in value, such as fresh cod, prawn and king crab. Three factors in particular have contributed to this:

  • An almost global shutdown of the hotel and restaurant segment.
  • Fewer flights due to severe travel restrictions.
  • Very bad weather in the main season for fresh cod which resulted in reduced catches.

“We also observe that salted fish, scallops and codfish were hit hard in the first half of the year. This is caused by, amongst other factors, major challenges associated with the corona virus in traditionally large markets such as Brazil and Italy”, says Larsen.

“When we convert to other currencies, we also see a decline in the export price for some products, which indicates a fall in demand. Reduced purchasing power, the risk of the corona virus flaring up again and uncertainty in the value chain are factors that make future prospects uncertain”, says Larsen.

Minister for Fisheries and Seafood is satisfied

“A new record for seafood exports in the first half of the year is both gratifying and impressive. The seafood industry contributes to jobs along our entire coast. Even though the krone exchange rate plays in, the recent figures show that the industry has so far managed well through the corona crisis”, says Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen (H), Minister of Fisheries and Seafood.

As in the six-month figures, seafood exports in June have also shown a growth in value:

  • Seafood was exported for NOK 8.4 billion.
  • There is an increase in value of 5 per cent, or NOK 400 million, compared with June last year.

Source: Seafood.no / Norway Today

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