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Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Value growth for salmon and trout contributed to solid seafood exports in May

  (NORWAY, 6/7/2024)

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 14 billion in May. This is an increase of NOK 1 billion, or 8 percent, compared with the same month last year.

"The growth in value in May is largely due to increased export volumes of both salmon and trout, as well as price growth for salmon," says Christian Chramer, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Best May ever for seafood exports

In the first four months of the year, the Norwegian krone was weaker than in the corresponding months last year, which boosted export prices measured in Norwegian kroner. This has now changed.

“In May, the Norwegian krone strengthened, so there was no positive currency effect last month. Despite this, the value of Norwegian seafood exports has never been higher in a month of May before. Although these are challenging economic times for many consumers, Norwegian seafood is still a highly sought-after food product," says Chramer.

Three EU countries had the highest growth

In May, Norway's largest and most important market, the EU, saw value growth of five percent. This is also where the three countries with the highest growth in May are located:

  • Spain (+NOK 142 million, +19%)
  • Portugal (+NOK 132 million, +22%)
  • Netherlands (+DKK 115 million, +15%)

So far this year, Norway has exported seafood worth NOK 68.5 billion. This is NOK 1.2 billion, or 2 percent, higher than in the same period last year.

Salmon exceeded NOK 10 billion in export value

Salmon is still by far the largest and most important species.

“In May, there was growth in volume for the first time this year. This contributed greatly to the export value of salmon exceeding NOK 10 billion last month," explains Christian Chramer.

Exciting developments for trout

May was also a historic month for trout. Never has the value of this fish been higher in a single month.

"Although trout accounted for only five percent of the total value of farmed salmonids in May, there was strong growth. This is an important contribution to the further development of this category, and it will be exciting to follow the development of trout throughout the year," says Chramer.

   

Lower volume for cod

For other species, cod stood out with a significantly lower export volume for both fresh and frozen cod.

“However, this is compensated by price growth for several fresh, frozen and conventional cod products compared to May last year," says Christian Chramer.

Seafood exports in May

  • The largest markets for Norwegian seafood exports in May were Denmark, Poland and the USA.
  • Seafood was exported to a total of 105 countries in May. This is 11 fewer than in May last year

Growth in volume and value for salmon

  • Norway exported 82,662 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 10.1 billion in May
  • The value increased by NOK 724 million, or 8 percent, compared with the same month last year.
  • This is a growth in volume of 2 percent
  • Poland, Denmark and Spain were the largest markets for salmon in May

At NOK 164 per kg, the price of fresh salmon fillets is at a record high, which is NOK 5 per kg higher than the previous record month of April 2023.

Increased share of fillets

“May was the first month in 2024 to see growth in salmon volumes. At the same time, fillet exports continue to increase compared with last year. This applies to both volume and value," says Seafood Analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In terms of volume, fresh fillet increased by 35 per cent to 13,223 tonnes, while frozen fillet increased by 21 per cent to 5,836 tonnes.

"Converted into round weight, this means that the fillet share of salmon exports increased from 25 percent last year to 30 percent this year," explains Aandahl.

The export value of fresh salmon fillets increased by 40 percent to NOK 2.2 billion, while exports of frozen fillets increased by 13 percent to just over NOK 900 million.

Highest value growth in Spain

Spain saw the greatest growth in value in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 163 million, or 25 percent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to Spain ended at 6,833 tonnes, which is 14 percent higher than the same month last year.

“Salmon exports to Spain have developed very favorably. This is primarily driven by strong domestic consumption, but as the tourists have returned, we see that the volume of salmon is also increasing in the restaurant segment. This is a trend that we believe will continue, so we are optimistic," says Tore Holvik, the Norwegian Seafood Council's envoy to Spain.

Historically strong month for trout

  • Norway exported 5,561 tonnes of trout worth NOK 587 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 231 million, or 65 percent, compared with the same month last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 83 percent
  • Ukraine, USA, and Thailand were the largest markets for trout in May

This is a record-high export value for trout in a single month, NOK 20 million higher than the previous record month, which was in August 2023.

Ukraine had the highest value growth in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 93 million, or 538 percent, compared with the same month last year.

The export volume to Ukraine ended at 1,174 tonnes, which is 470 percent higher than the same month last year.

Highest growth for fresh whole trout

“While exports of trout fillets have increased, it is whole fish that has increased most for trout. Fresh whole trout has increased by 81 percent in value, to NOK 413 million. This means that fresh whole trout accounted for 70 percent of the value, compared with 64 percent in May last year," says Seafood Analyst Paul T. Aandahl with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Source: Norwegian Seafood Council

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