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Reduced Seafood Exports in 2012

23 January 2013

NORWAY - Norway exported 2,36 million tons of seafood in 2012. This is a 78,000 ton reduction compared to 2011, according to figures presented by the Norwegian Seafood Council.

"In spite of economic difficulties in major seafood markets, Norway has held its strong position and increased its market share. Norway is now the largest exporter of seafood to both the European Union and Russia. Twenty per cent of EU’s imported seafood comes from Norway while the same figure for Russia is as high as 38 per cent," said CEO Terje E. Martinussen from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Russia and France takes the Lead

The EU is Norway’s most important market and 57 per cent of Norway’s seafood export was sold to the European market in 2012. The total export from Norway to the EU was worth 29,6 billion NOK. A 1,3 billion NOK reduction to the EU was caused by lower prizes on cod and salmon, but at the same time the volumes of Norwegian salmon grew substantially.

Russia ended 2012 as Norway’s most important market with a total export of 6 billion NOK. It is also in Russia the biggest growth can be found; 788 million NOK. France was the second largest market with an export value of 4,9 billion NOK.

The largest setback can be found in the export of seafood to Japan. It ended at 2.1 billion NOK and the reduction of 755 million NOK was largely caused by reduced mackerel prizes in 2012.

Aquaculture Growth

Growing volumes of both salmon and trout gave increased export value for aquaculture products. The 2012 growth for salmon and trout was 600 million NOK representing a total of 31,5 billion NOK. Aquaculture was 61 per cent of Norway’s total seafood export in 2012. Salmon is the largest product from Norway and Norway exported salmon for a total of 29,6 billion NOK while trout contributed with an export value of 1,7 billion NOK.

"Global trends such as sushi and health awareness gives salmon an extra push. Combining these two trends with strong marketing effort, Norwegian salmon has reached a dominant position in the market. Norway’s aquaculture industry has focused on market development and distribution over a long period and the results have started to show. A growing number of consumers are eating salmon and they eat more salmon on a regular basis," says Martinussen.

Reduction for Norwegian Fisheries

Following a record year for Norwegian fisheries in 2011, last year was troubled by both lover prizes and volumes. The export value of Norwegian fisheries ended at 20,1 billion NOK which is a reduction of 2,4 billion NOK. Falling mackerel prizes gave a reduction of 634 million NOK while reduced herring quotas was followed by a reduced export value of 183 million NOK for herring. Cod and saithe was reduced by 497 million NOK and 485 million NOK respectively. Norway has exported prawns and shellfish. for 800 million NOKs, which is a reduction on 10 per cent compared to 2011.

"The wild catch sector is more often affected by shifts in the resource situation. This effect can be seen in the pelagic sector where both catches and export was reduced in 2012. At the same time Norway’s cod fisheries is entering a year with record high quotas after years of hard work from both fishermen, researchers and politicians to establish a sustainable catch level. In this situation I hope that the Norwegian seafood sector is able to find inspiration in the aquaculture industry’s focus on development of products and markets," says Martinussen.

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