Norway exported cod, saithe, haddock and other types of whitefish for a total of NOK 6.7 billion in the first half of 2015. This is NOK 896 million more than the same period last year and corresponds to an increase of 16 per cent, which is higher than ever.
"A strong demand for fresh fish and a smaller cod catch in the winter led to price pressure on all cod products, and this contributed to an export record of both clipfish and fresh fish", Ove Johansen at the Norwegian Seafood Council explains.
Record first half for clipfish
The overall clipfish export came to NOK 1.87 billion in the first half of 2015, which is 29 per cent or NOK 424 million more than last year. The total export volume was 41,339 tonnes, which corresponds to a decrease of 1,666 tonnes or 4 per cent. The average price increase of clipfish was 34 per cent.
The total export of clipfish made from Atlantic cod was NOK 1.08 billion, an increase of 348 million compared to the the first half of 2014. On average, the price was 42 per cent higher than last year. The export of clipfish from saithe came to NOK 662 million, which is NOK 50 million more than the same period last year. The price of saithe was 23 per cent higher than last year.
The largest single market for clipfish was Portugal, with an export value of NOK 651 million. This is NOK 206 million more than the same period last year.
"It's impressive that the clipfish industry has stayed so strong, and that the solid and traditional markets, headed by Portugal, could import a lot of cod despite a sharp increase in price and a smaller quota", says Christian B. Nordahl, representing the Norwegian Seafood Council in Portugal.
Increase in export of saltfish
Export of saltfish, both whole and fillets, increased by NOK 163 million to a total of NOK 850 million in the first half of 2015. This corresponds to a growth of 24 per cent year-on-year. While the volume was reduced by 10 per cent to a total of 22,514 tonnes, the price increased by 38 per cent on average.
The biggest market Portugal bought 70 per cent of Norway's exported saltfish. This corresponds to a value of 622 million, 22 per cent more than last year. The export price in Portugal increased by 43 per cent compared to the first half of 2014, and is now an average of NOK 38.40 per kg.
Price increase of stockfish
Whole stockfish was exported to a value of NOK 186 million in the first half of 2015, which is 15 per cent less than last year. The total volume was 1,772 tonnes; a decrease of 38 per cent compared to the same period in 2014. 1,120 tonnes of so-called Lofoten round cod was exported, equivalent to a value of NOK 136 million. This represents a decrease of 12 per cent or NOK 18.7 million. The average price was NOK 121.32, which is 33 per cent higher than the first half of last year.
In addition, export of dried heads and backs came to a total of NOK 134 million. This represents an increase of 18 per cent, or NOK 20 million, year-on-year. These products are mainly sold to Nigeria, where dried fish products were bought for a total of NOK 170 million in the first half of the year.
Export record of fresh cod
The export value of fresh cod fish products came to a total of NOK 1.84 billion in the first half of 2015. This is a new export record, corresponding to 20 per cent or NOK 310 million more than the same period in 2014. While the export volume decreased by 6 per cent, the average price for fresh products increased by 28 per cent.
Sales of fresh whole fish increased by NOK 262 million, to a total of NOK 1.53 billion. The total export value of fresh Norwegian cod was NOK 1.13 billion, which is NOK 190 million more than last year. Fresh whole haddock increased to NOK 37.8 million, compared to NOK 34.9 million in May last year.
Fresh fillets increased by NOK 49 million to NOK 306 million, most of which consisted of fresh cod fillets. The average price of cod fillets was NOK 68.42, which is 24 per cent more than the same period last year.
"France is one of the most important markets for fresh fish in Europe. At the moment, we see that cod is becoming as popular as salmon in French households. The focus on skrei this year has influenced the perception of Norwegian cod as a natural and authentic quality product, which meets the needs of French consumers", says Maria Grimstad de Perlinghi, representing the Norwegian Seafood Council in France.
Significant price increase of frozen products
Export of frozen cod fish products increased by NOK 22 million, to a total of NOK 1.92 billion. An average price increase of 36 per cent compensates for the volume decline of 15 per cent.
Sales of fresh whole fish decreased by NOK 16 million, to a total of NOK 1.45 billion. The export value of frozen whole cod decreased from NOK 725 million to NOK 573 million, frozen whole saithe increased from NOK 135 million to NOK 229 million, and frozen whole haddock decreased from NOK 420 million to NOK 313 million.
Frozen fillets increased from NOK 413 million to NOK 456 million in the first half of the year. While the volume decreased by 15 per cent, the average price increased by 30 per cent.