SHELLFISH is proving to be the new ‘gold’ for many of Norway’s fishermen, the latest export figures show.
Exports of king crab leapt by more than 40 per cent in both volume and value last month. They totalled almost 200 tonnes and were worth NOK 58 million – 45 per cent more than the returns 12 months ago.
So far this year, 1,900 tonnes of king crab – much of it live crab – worth NOK 548 million (£51 million) have been sent overseas, an increase of NOK 88 million, with South Korea and France the largest markets.
There have also been some encouraging snow crab catches following a period of conservation and lower catches in Canadian waters, which has led to significantly higher prices and strong demand, especially from the United States.
Snow crab exports during November totalled 254 tonnes and were worth NOK 29 million.
Prawns were again another big earner last month, totalling 1,100 tonnes and netting revenues of NOK 91 million.
While the volume rose by 13 per cent, the value was up by 24 per cent, with the UK and Sweden the most rewarding markets.
Exports of Norwegian caught prawns during the first 11 months this year have reached a total of 10,100 tonnes and were worth NOK 775 million (£72 million), an increase on just over 20 per cent on the same period in 2017.
As ever, demand for both frozen and fresh cod, including fillets, continued to strengthen. Frozen cod values rose by 16 per cent to NOK 279 million.
Fresh cod values last month were worth NOK 109 million, slightly up on 12 months ago.
Last week, salmon export figures for last month revealed a rise in value of 10 per cent to NOK 541 million, with volumes the same as the previous year, at 102,000 tonnes.
So far this year, Norway has sold 962,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 62 billion. The country is now on course to hit the NOK 100 billion target for overall seafood exports, or a figure close to it by the end of this year.