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Africa's Importance for Norwegian Seafood Exports

31 December 2013
© Nofima (formerly Fiskeriforskning)

NORWAY - Africa has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, which has contributed to increased demand for Norwegian seafood. African countries are becoming increasingly important for Norwegian exporters.

Over the last twelve years, added value products on the African continent have quadrupled. The increase is partly due to increased demand for commodities and greater foreign investment in a number of African countries.

In addition, Africa has a young and rapidly growing population which means that more and more are coming into the workforce. Combined with strong urbanisation, labour can be utilised more efficiently than before.

Norwegian exports to Africa increased

In 2005, Norway exported 15,000 tonnes of seafood to Africa. Exports were valued at NOK 291 million. In comparison, in 2012 Norway exported 80,000 tonnes of Norwegian seafood to Africa at a value of NOK 1.26 billion.

Africa consists of 56 countries. Nofima analysis shows that Norwegian companies export seafood to 36 of these countries in 2012.

The six largest markets accounted for less than 91 per cent of the total African imports of Norwegian seafood last year in terms of value.

Norwegian companies exported seafood for more than NOK 100 million to Nigeria, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Angola and South Africa. Nigeria has been and remains the most important market for Norwegian seafood in Africa, in terms of both quantity and value.

Important Species

Herring and saithe have been the most important species in terms of export value from 2000 to 2012. Looking at saithe, there has been a steady increase throughout this period. Export volumes fell somewhat in 2012, primarily because reduced Norwegian saithe quotas led to lower production of both dried cod and stockfish products.

Africa is also an important market for Norwegian herring. However, there has been wide variation in the volume of exports of herring due to large fluctuations in the Norwegian quotas and related price variations.

Nigeria imported 129,000 tonnes of frozen herring from Norway in 2010 when the average price (for export of frozen herring) was around 4.57 per pound and only 6,600 tonnes in 2012 when the average price was NOK 7.91 per kilo.

During the same period, the Norwegian herring quotas were reduced by 57 per cent. Nofima's analysis shows great exchange in exports of other pelagic species such as mackerel and silver smelt to the African continent. Imports of more expensive species such as cod and salmon are also increasing.

Frozen and dried products are the dominant product forms of Norwegian exports to Africa.

TheFishSite News Desk © Nofima )


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