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Stable Norwegian seafood exports in 2020 despite the corona pandemic

Datetime:2021-01-07

Despite a very demanding year, Norway exported 2.7 million tonnes of seafood worth NOK 105.7 billion in 2020. This is the second-highest value ever and equates to 37 million meals every day throughout the year or 25,000 meals per minute.

The total volume of seafood exports increased by 2 per cent in 2020, while the value was reduced by 1 per cent, or NOK 1.5 billion, compared with the record year of 2019.


"Even though 2020 was a very different year, much of our seafood exports have managed to defy the biggest challenges in the wake of the corona pandemic. We have seen how strong Norwegian seafood is globally and can be proud of the industry´s ability to adapt quickly here at home as well as maintaining the strong position we have with consumers worldwide", says Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.


"I am happy that seafood exports once again have exceeded NOK 100 billion in export value. The first time we managed this was in 2019, and that we have managed to repeat this in the corona year 2020, is fantastic", says Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Minister of Fisheries and Seafood (H).


A strong start to the year


2020 began well for Norwegian seafood exports, with high values and optimism for another record year, but then the corona pandemic hit markets worldwide.

"As societies started to shut down, Norwegian seafood exports lost a very important sales channel, namely the restaurant and hotel segment. There were challenges in logistics, and sales of seafood were largely moved to grocery chains, online shopping and takeaway services", says Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Despite this, the export value has remained stable in 2020.

"The picture is still nuanced. There has been a very positive development for products such as herring and mackerel, while there have been challenges and declines for clipfish and stockfish, among other things", says Renate Larsen.


Impressed with the seafood industry


Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen praises the Norwegian seafood industry.

"The industry deserves credit for the way they have adapted to uncertain and difficult market conditions in 2020. Throughout the year, I have been impressed by the willingness and ability to adapt throughout the industry. This has largely contributed to seafood exports doing well throughout the corona year, says Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Minister of Fisheries and Seafood.


Five important factors


2020 was the second-best year ever for Norwegian seafood exports. There are largely five factors that have contributed to this:

  •     A weakened Norwegian krone

  •     An adaptable seafood industry

  •     Individual species such as mackerel and herring have experienced strong growth

  •     The export value for salmon is the second highest ever

  •     Norwegian seafood is a highly sought-after global commodity



Responsive to new seafood trends


"Norwegian seafood has responded to many of the strongest growth trends in consumer behaviour, such as an increased focus on value-based choices related to health and sustainability. This is exciting and good news when we now hopefully very soon, start to put the corona pandemic behind us. The restaurant market will gradually begin to reopen, and many more consumers have learned to make fish and shellfish at home", says Renate Larsen.



A decline for aquaculture


The relationship between aquaculture and fisheries has changed little since last year. Aquaculture contributes 70 per cent by value, and 44.9 per cent by volume.

  •     In 2020, Norway exported 1.2 million tonnes of fish from aquaculture.

  •     Export value was NOK 74.2 billion.

  •     Export volume has increased by 3 per cent.

  •     Export value has fallen by NOK 2.1 billion, or 3 per cent, from 2019.


Growth for wild-caught fish


Fisheries account for 30 per cent of total seafood exports measured in value, while in volume they account for 55.1 per cent.

  •     For fisheries, the export volume totalled 1.5 million tonnes.

  •     Export value was NOK 31.5 billion.

  •     Export volume has increased by less than 1 per cent.

  •     Export value has increased by NOK 643 million, or 2 per cent, from 2019.


Largest markets in 2020


Norwegian seafood producers exported 1.7 million tonnes of seafood to the EU totalling NOK 69 billion. This is 2 per cent up in volume, while the value fell by NOK 1.5 billion, or 1 per cent, compared with 2019.

In 2020, 504,000 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 19.8 billion were exported to Asia. This is a decrease in volume of 5 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 2 billion, or 10 per cent, compared with 2019.


Export volume to Eastern Europe amounted to 141,000 tonnes, while the total export value ended at NOK 3.5 billion. This is a decrease in volume of 3 per cent, while the value fell by NOK 221 million, or 6 per cent, compared with 2019.

Poland is our largest market measured in export value. 271,000 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 11.6 billion were exported. This is an increase of 2 per cent in volume and an increase of NOK 968 million, or 9 per cent, compared with 2019.

Denmark is the second-largest market for Norwegian seafood, measured in export value. Norway exported seafood worth NOK 9.7 billion to Denmark in 2020. This is an increase of NOK 497 million, or 5 per cent, compared with 2019.

Measured in value, these are the 10 largest individual countries to which Norway exported seafood in 2020: Poland, Denmark, France, the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Italy and China.



New source: fis.com

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