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Market situation for Norwegian king crab and snow crab

  (WORLDWIDE, 6/10/2024)

Fall in value and volume for king crab

  • Norway exported 118 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 61 million in May
  • The value fell by NOK 12 million, or 16 percent, compared with the same month last year
  • Volume fell by 14 per cent
  • The US, Denmark, and Hong Kong SAR were the largest markets for king crab in May

Despite a decline in volume and value compared to May last year, this year's May is strong compared to previous years.

Strong month for live king crab

"The reopening of the king crab fisheries has led to a strong month for live exports in particular. This is a record high value for May, and only once before has a larger volume of live king crab been exported in May, and that was last year," says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Head of Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Until Russia begins its fishing season in September, Norway is now the only supplier of live red king crab.

Record high price per kilo

“Combined with strong demand and lower availability, this has led to a record-high price for live king crab of NOK 723 per kg, which is NOK 47 per kg higher than the previous record month of March 2024," explains Danielsen.

The majority of live exports have gone to the US, which has seen an increase of 82 percent in terms of value compared to May last year.

Denmark saw the greatest growth in value in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 2 million, or 67 percent, compared with the same month last year. The export volume to Denmark ended at 9 tonnes, which is 94 percent higher than the same month last year.

Good development for snow crab

  • Norway exported 446 tonnes of snow crab worth NOK 59 million in May
  • The value increased by NOK 29 million, or 97 percent, compared with the same month last year
  • This is a growth in volume of 34 percent
  • The USA, South Korea, and Japan were the largest markets for snow crab in May

In April, the Norwegian snow crab fishery was MSC-approved, which means that catches from 26 January this year can use the MSC label.

"The price of snow crab continues the positive trend it has shown so far this year, with the fourth consecutive month of growth. In May, the price increased by 47 percent, or NOK 42 per kg, to NOK 132 per kg, compared with May last year," says Marte Sofie Danielsen, Head of Shellfish at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Increased demand in Asia

Due to the sanctions in the West, virtually all Russian crab is exported to the Asian markets.

“Despite this, demand in Asia for Norwegian snow crab was good in May, with a growth of 92 percent in value. 80 tonnes of frozen snow crab were exported to the transit market South Korea, which was the largest import market in Asia in May, at an average price of NOK 190 per kg," explains Danielsen.

A total of NOK 30 million was exported to South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and China.

The USA is the largest single market

"The USA is still the largest single market. It had the highest value growth in May, with an increase in export value of NOK 19 million, or 200 percent, compared with the same month last year," says Marte Sofie Danielsen.

The export volume to the USA ended at 210 tonnes, which is 82 percent higher than the same month last year.

Source: Norwegian Seafood Council

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