Norwegian seafood exports have achieved a new record in the first six months of 2021 reaching NOK 53.7 billion (USD 6 billion). Despite strengthened Norwegian Krone and the pandemic, the seafood industry managed to increase exports by 1% compared to the same period last year. The increase in consumption of a healthier home-cooked diet and the start of the reopening of the restaurant sector have allowed that growth in exports of seafood.
The country with the most significant growth in import value of Norwegian seafood is seen from South Korea that increased its import value by 430% mainly with salmon, mackerel, and king crabs. Norwegian salmon and mackerel gained popularity in the past year due to several marketing campaigns done by large retailers in the country, raising the awareness of the quality of Norwegian seafood.
The seafood with the largest growth of export value was shellfish with an increase of 69.6% and reaching NOK 1.7 billion (USD 192 thousand) in the first half of 2021. The boost in sales of king crab to South Korea has supported the increase of export value for this segment. Other shellfish that contributed to the growth are the snow crab, crayfish, and brown crabs. In July 2021, the king crab exports saw another record with an 81% increase in export value compared to the previous July.
In relation to salmon, Norway is the biggest producer of farmed salmon, and it exported 562,000 MT in the first 6 months of 2021 which is a 12% rise in volume. The average price of fresh salmon has dropped from NOK 64.96 to NOK 58.30 per kg and the total export value had a smaller increase of 1% in the period. In July, the exports of salmon continued high with 103,100 MT, a rise of 10% compared to July 2020. The main destination was European countries, particularly Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, France, and Spain.
Source: Tridge, ITC
Although many Norwegian seafood had an increase in exports, the cod export, in general, had a decrease of 8% in the export value compared to the previous year. The cod exports reached NOK 5.27 billion in the first half of 2021 and it is comprised of fresh, frozen, and conventional cod.
The sector is very pleased with the results of 2021 so far, and it praises the hard work of companies to overcome the problems of logistics and low demand from key sectors during the pandemic. The exports of seafood are expected to have an increase in demand for the second half of 2021 as restaurants reopenings continue worldwide with the progress of the vaccination.