"In a year with trade restrictions in several markets and an import embargo in Russia, the result was better than expected. A weak Norwegian krone, combined with good demand for fresh products in particular, contributed to a new export record for Norwegian seafood," says Terje E. Martinussen, Managing Director of the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Seafood exports to the EU have reached NOK 50 billion for the first time, after a growth of 17 per cent in 2015. The EU takes in 67 per cent of total seafood exports, and it is decidedly the most important market for the Norwegian seafood industry. Another important characteristic of Norwegian seafood exports is that more than 60 per cent is fresh products and this share is increasing.
"The growth in the EU and the United States in recent years also shows the importance of government and industry working well together in order to obtain access to markets. Good trade agreements are absolutely critical in order to achieve growth in new markets in the future," says Martinussen.
Record for salmon and codfish
Norway exported salmon and trout worth NOK 50 billion in 2015. This is a record export value, and an increase of more than 8 per cent or NOK 3.9 billion on 2014 figures.
Norway exported codfish worth NOK 13 billion in 2015. This is also a record, and an increase of 8 per cent, or slightly less than NOK 1 billion. In line with reduced quotas, the export volume of codfish decreased by 13 per cent.
Norway exported clipfish worth NOK 4 billion and fresh codfish products worth NOK 2.8 billion in 2015.
"Norway has never previously exported such high values of clipfish and fresh codfish products as in 2015. The industry's increased focus on quality, targeted marketing and a favourable exchange rate for the Norwegian krone have led to good demand for these products," says Martinussen.
Lower quotas for mackerel and herring
Reduced quotas resulted in decreases for mackerel and herring. NOK 3.8 billion worth of mackerel was exported in 2015, which is a decrease of NOK 306 million, or 7 per cent, compared with 2014. Herring exports finished at NOK 2.4 billion in 2015, which is a decrease of 12 per cent or NOK 327 million.
Shellfish exports increase strongly
Norway exported shrimp, shellfish and molluscs worth NOK 1.5 billion in 2015. This is an increase of 52 per cent from 2014. The strong growth is due mainly to increased exports of shrimp, snow crab and king crab.
Our most important export markets
In 2015, Norway exported seafood to 143 countries. Of these, Poland is the largest individual market and amounted to NOK 6.9 billion in 2015. Poland is a steadily more important consumer market, but a substantial share of the exports to Poland go to processing and further distribution to the European market.
Denmark is now the next largest market for Norwegian seafood, and like Poland it is an important market for processing and transhipment. Norwegian exports to Denmark were NOK 6.4 billion in 2015, an increase of NOK 1.4 billion or 27 per cent from the year before. This also makes Denmark our largest growth market in 2015.