NORWAY exported a million tonnes of salmon last year, the highest volume on record, figures for 2017 released today show.
The value at 64.7 billion kroners (almost £6 billion) was also a record and up five per cent or NOK 3.4 billion on the previous year.
The total Norwegian seafood export figure for 2017 (including white fish, pelagic species and shellfish) also hit a record high, totalling NOK 94.5 billion (£8.63 billion), a rise in value of three per cent or NOK 3 billion, and a volume increase of seven per cent.
Of the total value last year, 72 per cent came from aquaculture, while fisheries accounted for 28 per cent. Measured in volume, the distribution was 40 per cent from aquaculture and 60 per cent from fishing.
Renate Larsen, managing director of the Norwegian Seafood Council, said that 2017 was ‘another great year for exports’.
‘Values increased by three per cent and we see growth in value and volume in overseas markets in Asia and the US. At the same time, exports to the EU remained unchanged from 2016.’
Commenting on the salmon success, analyst Paul T. Aandahl at the Seafood Council added: ‘After a very strong year in 2016, we see that the export growth for salmon continued to flow out in 2017.
‘The main reason is a stable EU market. But increased consumer prices have led to reduced salmon purchases in several of the major consumer markets in the EU.’
The average export price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 60.34 per kilo in 2017, which was 0.26 kroner higher on 2016.
But there was considerable variation during the year, with prices varying between NOK 72.07 per kilo in January (a record for a single month) and NOK 50.51 in November.
Nearly 73 per cent of all Norwegian salmon exports, measured in product weight, went to the EU last year, a decline of three per cent.
Poland saw a volume decline of six per cent to 132,000 tonnes, while exports to France were down by 10 per cent to 103,000 tonnes.
Denmark and Spain were the largest emerging markets over the past 12 months. Exports to Denmark increased by 15 per cent to 86,000 tonnes, while exports to Spain increased by eight per cent to 63,000 tonnes.
The US continues to provide increasingly attractive prospects, with salmon exports totalling 49,000 tonnes, worth NOK 4.4 billion, a value increase of 31 per cent or NOK 1.1 billion and a volume increase of 10,000 tonnes, or 25 per cent, from 2016.
Asia too is growing in importance, with 169,000 tonnes worth NOK 11.6 billion sold in 2017, a rise of 11 per cent in volume and 13 per cent in value.
Farmed trout exports continued to decline; they were worth NOK 2.9 billion, down by NOK 1 billion on 2016. The largest trout markets in 2017, measured in volume, were Japan, Belarus and the US.