Despite the tense global trade situation, the export value of Norwegian seafood has never been higher in a first quarter than in 2022.
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In the first three months of the year, Norway exported seafood worth NOK 34 billion. This is a growth in value of 22 per cent, or NOK 6.2 billion, measured against the first quarter last year.
In addition to the tense global situation, bad weather, quota reductions and lower sea temperatures have combined to lower the export volumes of herring, mackerel and salmon.
January and February were two good months for Norwegian seafood exports, but they were still surpassed by March, which became the strongest single month ever, with an export value of NOK 12.4 billion. This is an increase of 13 per cent, or NOK 1.5 billion, compared with the same month last year. The previous record for a single month was October 2021 with NOK 12.1 billion.
While the share of seafood exports to Asia increased in the first two months of the year, it was lower in March.
The USA was the largest growth market for Norwegian seafood in the first quarter. Exports increased by NOK 785 million, to a total of NOK 2.6 billion. This was followed by France, with a growth of NOK 730 million, to NOK 2.5 billion. China was in third place with a growth of NOK 668 million, to NOK 1.8 billion.
Norway exported 283,200 tonnes of salmon for NOK 23.2 billion in the first quarter. This is a new export value record.
Increased demand and a lower export volume compared with last year have led to growth in the export price in the first quarter. At that time, the value for Norwegian salmon exports was the highest ever recorded.
Norway exported 11,600 tonnes of trout for NOK 945 million in the first quarter.
The export value for cod has never been higher in a single quarter than this year. Higher prices for clip fish, salted fish and fresh and frozen cod have been the biggest contributors to the record. Increased export volumes of frozen whole cod and salted fish have also contributed to the export record for cod. ■