NORWEGIAN seafood exports hit a record high of 99 billion kroner during 2018 – or just over £9 billion. But there was a little disappointment that they did not break the magical 100 billion kroner barrier.
Nevertheless, the figure, released this morning, represents a five per cent value increase on 2017 and, at 2.7 million tonnes of farmed and wild caught fish, a volume increase of four per cent.
Renate Larsen, CEO of Norway’s seafood council, said: ‘It has been a good year for Norwegian seafood exports. In summary, there was both a record high export value and a record high export volume for Norwegian seafood in 2018.
‘This was achieved despite Brexit, a trade war and other challenges that have created unpredictability in the world market.
‘Seafood exports to the EU market have increased due to lower competition and a favourable currency situation against the euro.
‘But we saw a decline in seafood exports to Asia, as a result of increased competition and continued challenging market access to China.’
Norway’s fisheries minister, Harald Tom Nesvik, said: ‘Once again, a new record has been set for Norwegian seafood exports. We have every reason to be proud of that. This represents good and important news for the Norwegian economy. The seafood industry contributes to value creation and jobs all across the country.
‘While the value of exports has increased by 60 per cent over the past five years, the volume has increased by almost 10 per cent.
‘Greater volume growth is therefore highly desirable in order to develop the industry further. Our goal is for the industry to continue to grow, and as a seafood minister, I work for this goal every single day.’
As expected, aquaculture, mainly salmon, was the best performer last year, accounting for 72 per cent of total value, but only 40.5 per cent in volume. Sales of farmed salmon totalled 1.1 million tonnes, worth NOK 67.5 billion (almost £6.2 billion)
Norway exported 46,400 tonnes of farmed trout for NOK 3 billion (£274 million) in 2018, a rise of 16 per cent in volume, while the value increased by NOK 127 million, or five per cent on 2017.
Cod exports totalled 127,000 tonnes and earned the country’s fishermen NOK 9.4 billion ( £860 million).
Picture: Fisheries minister Harald Tom Nesvik