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Easter blamed for export dip

Rob Fletcher
Rob Fletcher
05 May 2017, at 1:00am

The timing of Easter has been blamed for a 23% dip in Norwegian seafood export volumes last month.

Norway exported 151,000 tonnes of seafood, worth NOK 6.8 billion, in April – a 23% decrease in volume and a 7% decrease in value compared with April 2016.

So far this year, Norway has exported 886,000 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 31 billion. Year to date export volumes are at the same level as last year, while the year to date value of Norwegian seafood exports has increased by 8 per cent.

"Despite reduced exports in April, Norway has so far this year exported the same amount of seafood as in the same period in 2016. The value of Norwegian seafood exports has increased by 8 per cent to NOK 31 billion for the same period. The decline in seafood exports in April is mainly due to a shift in Easter, which again explains some of the decline in export volumes for our important seafood products such as salmon and clipfish,” says the Norwegian Seafood Council’s Director of Market Insight, Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit.

Salmonids

Salmon exports totaled 60,000 tonnes, worth NOK 4.9 billion, in April – a drop of 11 per cent in volume. Values remained the same, however, thanks to the average price for fresh whole salmon rising from NOK 57.11 per kg in April 2016, to NOK 63.59 per kg in April 2017. Poland, France and the United States were the largest export markets for salmon from Norway in April. So far this year, Norway has exported 305,000 tonnes of salmon with a total value of NOK 21 billion.

“Strong price growth compared with the same period last year has led to a value added of NOK 2.7 billion or 15 per cent for Norwegian salmon exports so far this year. A trend we have seen over time is that exports to the EU are reduced, while exports to overseas markets have increased,” said Analyst Paul Aandahl.

Trout exports in April totaled 2,480 tonnes, worth NOK 199 million – a 69 per cent fall in volume and a 51 per cent fall in value, compared with April 2016. So far this year, Norway has exported 11,100 tonnes of trout worth NOK 874 million. Japan, Belarus and the United States were the largest trout export markets in April.

Whitefish

Spain, Germany and Sweden have been the largest consumer markets for Norwegian cod so far this year and Norway exported 10,800 tonnes of fresh cod, including Skrei, worth NOK 341 million in April. By value this represents an increase of 8 per cent and a volume increase of 6 per cent compared with April 2016.

Skrei exports reached 881 tonnes – an increase of 203 tonnes compared to April last year. The average price for skrei fell slightly from NOK 33.48 per kg in April 2016 to NOK 32.89 per kg in April this year. The value of skrei exports increased by 28 per cent to NOK 29 million. During the Skrei season, Norway has exported 5,000 tonnes of skrei worth NOK 181 million. This is the same level for the same period in 2016 measured by volume, but a slight decline of 1.8 per cent when measured by export value. Spain, Germany and Sweden were the largest consumer markets for skrei this year. Germany and Sweden were the least price sensitive markets.

As the skrei season came to a close, the price difference between whole quality marked skrei and other fresh cod was NOK 6.59 per kg.

“There is no doubt that the quality mark Skrei has been a success in Spain, and that quality has been very good this year. The skrei season is something that Spaniards anticipate and look forward to. Since much of the fish passes through transit countries like Denmark, the export figures alone do not tell us if there has been an increase in skrei sales to Spain. However, our local sources have suggested that there has been an increase in skrei in the Spanish market this season,” said Hildegunn Fure Osmundsvåg, from the Norwegian Seafood Council in Spain.

Pelagics

Herring exports totaled 9,800 tonnes, worth NOK 104 million, in April. This is an increase in volume of 1,300 tonnes or 16 per cent, while export value was down by NOK 19 million or 15 per cent from April 2016. Egypt, Belarus and Lithuania were the most important markets for herring in April.

Mackerel exports totaled 10,500 tonnes, worth NOK 135 million. Volume was reduced by 19 per cent, while export value fell by 14 per cent compared with April 2016. China, Vietnam and Belarus were the largest recipients of mackerel in April. So far this year, Norway has exported herring and mackerel worth a total of NOK 2.6 billion, an increase of 9 per cent from the same period last year.

Crustaceans

King crab exports fell to 46 tonnes, worth a total of NOK 14 million in April. This is a decrease in volume of 24 per cent, while export value remains at the same level as April last year. Meanwhile prawn exports fell to 646 tonnes, worth NOK 44 million kroner in April. Volumes were down by 12 per cent and export values fell by 30 per cent year-on-year.