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Norway exported seafood products worth NOK 13.1 billion (EUR 11.07 million / USD 11.83 million) in May. These figures represent a 7% increase compared to the same month in 2022 and are attributed to the weakness of the NOK.

“The market has become more demanding,” said Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, referring to the weak Norwegian krone contributing to an increase in the value of exports of around NOK 1.5 billion ( EUR 1.26 million /USD 1.35 million) last month. Without this currency development, there would have been a decrease in export value. This is a fact when measured in euros, the value of exports fell by 8% in May, while the value of exports fell by 5% when measured in US dollars, compared to the same month last year.

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The increase in world food prices due to the reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation has led to a significant increase in the value of seafood exports. The year-to-date seafood export value is NOK 67.5 billion, representing a growth of NOK 9.9 billion compared to 2022.

Thus, Europe remains the principal target for Norwegian seafood exports, accounting for 68 % of the export value in May. However, it should be noted that consumers are adjusting their purchasing habits choosing cheaper products and reducing their consumption of meat and fish. Overall domestic consumption of salmon, cod, and seafood products has declined in the main European seafood markets. “In May, we have never had a lower European value share than this year,” Chramer said.

Beyond Europe alone

On the other hand, Asia accounts for 21 % of exports and North America for 9 %. However, there is a shift in exports from Europe to foreign markets such as Asia and North America. Concretely, there is growing demand for salmon in China, with a significant increase in export value and volume.

In May, Norway exported seafood products to 115 countries. The major markets were Denmark, Poland, and the United States. The United States had the highest increase in value, with an expansion of 30% compared to the same month last year.

Through complex times

Trout export volume and value decreased in May compared to the previous year. The trading volume and value of frozen cod exports also declined, mainly due to a drop in exports to China. However, there was growth in export volume to the United Kingdom, particularly for frozen whole cod and cod fillets.

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Overall, the Norwegian seafood export industry is now facing challenging times due to currency fluctuations, high food inflation, changes in consumer behavior, and changes in market demand. Nevertheless, it continues to be the market leader and has a good control of the current market situation, which allows it to make the necessary changes.

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