Norwegian producers last year exported seafood worth NoK151 million, up a massive 25% over the previous year.
According to Norwegian Seafood Council CEO Christian Chramer, 2022 is the best year ever for Norway’s seafood exports, with 2.9 million tonnes exported last year.
‘Norwegian seafood exports have had a historically strong year behind them. It is happening in a period characterised by war in Europe, galloping energy prices, sky-high inflation, and a weakened global purchasing power. A result of the demanding and troubled times is a sharp rise in prices, which last year resulted in record high prices for important species such as salmon, cod, mackerel, trout, pollock and herring,’ he said.
‘Norwegian seafood has reached another milestone. Behind the export value of NOK 151 billion lies a lot of hard work, and many share the credit,’ commented Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bjørnar Skjæran.
‘We are in challenging times with high food prices due to the war in Ukraine and the effects of the corona pandemic. Although the value of seafood exports has increased considerably, the volume has remained the same overall. The fact that exports are still doing so well shows that the seafood industry is adaptable with good people throughout the value chain who deliver products in demand. It is good news for the whole country, and I have great faith in the further development of seafood exports.’
This export record comes despite lower export volumes for several species – salmon, herring, mackerel, cod, king crab, and snow crab.
‘For salmon, lower sea temperatures have negatively affected slaughter in 2022. As for our wild-caught species, last year, significant quantities of herring were used for meal and fish oil production in Norway, while we had lower quotas for cod. This is the primary explanation for the decline in volume,’ Christian Chramer explained.
Salmon accounted for the largest share of Norwegian seafood exports, with 70% of the total value. Followed by cod (8%), mackerel (4%), trout (3%), herring (%) and shellfish (%).
Christian Chramer commented that while Norwegian seafood exports have doubled in value over the last seven years, he stresses that Norway cannot take further export growth for granted in the future, with the ongoing war in Ukraine and a Covid pandemic that shows no signs of letting up.
‘This is happening in parallel with consumers in the markets experiencing weakened purchasing power and competition from other nations and other protein sources hardening,’ he said, adding that Norwegian seafood producers are also affected by the fact that crucial input factors such as fuel and energy have become more expensive in the past year.
‘Although the total value of Norwegian seafood exports was at a record high in 2022, trading conditions were demanding for many who produce our seafood. We must keep this in mind on a day when there is a lot of focus on export records,’ he said.