UK buyers boost Norwegian cod sales

COD was the star performer in Norway’s seafood export drive last month, thanks to an increase in frozen sales to the UK.

Although salmon exports stuttered during February, sales of both fresh and frozen cod were up.

Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, director of Market Insight at the Norwegian Seafood Council, said: ‘Great weather at the beginning of the year led to higher catches compared with the same time last year.

‘This meant that we saw an increase in exports of fresh cod. At the same time, a strengthening of the euro measured against February 2017 has led to lower import prices for seafood from Norway.  This has favoured the EU market in the first months of 2018.’

Seafood exports so far this year are running at 386,000 tonnes, worth NOK 14.7 billion. There is a volume decline of 32,000 tonnes and a value reduction of NOK 484 million on the first two months of 2017.

Last month fresh cod exports, including skrei and fillets, reached 13,100 tonnes and were worth NOK 459 million, up three per cent in volume and up by five per cent in value.

Frozen cod fared even better, with sales totalling 7,500 tonnes worth NOK 268 million, a rise of 18 per cent and 21 per cent in volume and value respectively, with the UK and China the largest buyers.

Herring exports fell by 21 per cent to 24,200 tonnes, with the slump in value even greater at 36 per cent.

Mackerel sales were also hit, down by 32 per cent in volume and 24 per cent in value.

Norwegian king crab continues to be popular, with sales up by 37 per cent to NOK 55 million, and shrimp (cold water prawns) rose by 39 per cent and were also worth NOK 55 million last month.

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