2022, the best-ever export year for Norwegian salmon

Closeup of fresh Norwegian Atlantic salmon fillet. Photo: Adobe Stock.
Closeup of fresh Norwegian Atlantic salmon fillet. Photo: Adobe Stock.

Last year brought a new record export value for Norwegian salmon. According to the annual report of the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), 2022 was the best-ever export year with 1,255,851 tonnes exported to a value of NOK 105.8 billion. The export value increased by NOK 24.6 billion, or 30 percent, compared to 2021 which was also the previous record year.

It has never happened before that Norwegian salmon exports exceeded NOK 100 billion. Moreover, the export record comes despite lower export volumes. "For salmon, lower sea temperatures have negatively affected slaughter in 2022", explained Christian Chramer, NSC's CEO. Although the drop was not pronounced, the export volume fell by 2 per cent.

Higher prices, lower export volume, but a robust merchandise

As Chramer himself explained in the introduction to the report, one of the results of these demanding and hectic times is the sharp rise in prices, which last year resulted in record prices for such important species as salmon. It was that price increase that contributed to most of the increase in the value of salmon in 2022.

Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council. Photo: Marius Fiskum / Norges sjømatråd.

"The reopening of society after the corona pandemic has positively affected the demand for salmon. An increase in demand in combination with a slight decrease in produced volume, both globally and our home market, is the biggest reason for the price increase – in addition to increased further processing and a weakened Norwegian krone", said Paul T. Aandahl, Seafood Analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The NSC annual report continually points out that these high prices have been achieved in spite of difficult times in the world economy. As Aandahl himself told us in November, another fact to keep in mind with respect to 2002 is that we have begun to see a reduction in consumption at home. "It's a global trend", he explained to us, but despite this, he was convinced that consumption will be quite robust in the near future. "Even though people are getting less money to spend, they will still continue to buy salmon", the NSC's Seafood Analyst explained to WeAreAquaculture.

Norwegian salmon loved all over the world

Also, in 2022, salmon accounted for the largest share of Norwegian seafood exports. It was 70% of the total value. "Norwegian seafood is a robust global commodity sold to 149 markets last year. Our salmon is loved all over the world", said Christian Chramer. Among them, Poland, France, and the USA were the largest markets for Norwegian salmon in 2022.

Christian Chramer, new CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council. Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council.

"The USA had the most significant increase in value last year, with an export value of NOK 3.2 billion, or 57 per cent, compared to the previous year. The export volume to the USA ended at around 66 000 tonnes, which is 22 per cent higher than the previous year", Paul T. Aandahl explained.

But these were not the only top figures. In 2022, there was also a record price for fresh salmon fillets, which reached NOK 117 per kg. Some NOK 13 per kg more than in 2019, the previous record year. And the same was true for fresh whole salmon, at NOK 79 per kg. This is NOK 18 per kg above the previous record year, which was 2018.

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