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More Norwegian Dried and Salted Fish to Angola?

04 February 2014

NORWAY - Angola is the largest market for Norwegian dried and salted fish in Africa. The market could expand if Norwegian companies can compete with Portuguese companies and their export of dried and salted cod.

Nearly 90 per cent of the Norwegian export of dried and salted fish to Angola is saithe, measured both in terms of volume and value.

Nofima analysis of international trade statistics show that Angola is also a major market for dried and salted cod, which it imports from Portugal. If we can compete with Portuguese companies, Angola can become a larger market for Norwegian dried and salted cod, and thus for Norwegian fish overall.

In parallel with this, increased Chinese export of salted fish is challenging the Norwegian market position for dried and salted saithe. It’s clear that the Angolan market presents great opportunities and great challenges.

Economic growth

Angola has experienced amazing economic growth since the end of the civil war in 2002. This growth has been, and continues to be, driven by the oil industry. It accounts for nearly half of the gross national product, and 95 per cent of Angola’s foreign income.

Despite an unequal distribution of resources and the fact that more than half of the population live on less than $2 a day, the growth has contributed to a significant increase in the total import of seafood. In 2012, for example, Angola imported 20,000 tonnes of seafood, four times the amount in 2007.

For this reason, Nofima has been commissioned by the Norwegian Seafood Research Fund (FHF) to examine the possibilities and challenges of increased export of dried and salted fish to Angola.

This market has been chosen since market penetration (the increased sale of existing products in existing markets) is associated with less risk than other strategies for growth, such as product development and the development of new markets.

A board with representatives from the industry has been established for the project, in order to ensure that it retains commercial interest and to take strategic decisions along the way. The project will run until 1 May 2015.

Norwegian exports

In 2013, Norwegian companies exported 6,139 tonnes of dried and salted fish to Angola, with a value of NOK 163 million.

Angola differs from other major markets for dried and salted fish since the consumers there purchase dried and salted cod, saithe, ling and tusk.

Norwegian companies exported 5,485 tonnes of dried and salted saithe to Angola in 2013. The value of this export was NOK 143 million. The export of dried and salted cod was lower. Last year, Norwegian companies exported 123 tonnes of dried and salted cod to Angola, with a value of NOK 5 million.

The export of dried and salted tusk to Angola has risen steadily since 2009, and it amounted to 321 tonnes last year, up from only 43 tonnes in 2009. The export of ling has fluctuated, and export of this fish to Angola has been recorded in 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2013. In 2013, Norwegian companies exported 69 tonnes of dried and salted ling to Angola, with a value of NOK 2.2 million.

Competition

Angola was once a Portuguese colony, and became independent as late as 1975. Thus the ties between these two countries remain close.

Portugal is one of Angola’s most important trading partners, and trade in seafood in general, and dried and salted fish in particular, is no exception. Portuguese companies exported 1,266 tonnes of dried and salted cod to Angola in 2012.

The export from Norway, in comparison, was only 308 tonnes. Portugal also exported approximately 250 tonnes salted cod to Angola in the same year. Thus, Angola is a significantly larger market for cod than the Norwegian export statistics suggest.

Portugal also achieves higher prices for cod than Norway. There is a real need for Norwegian companies to learn about how they can compete with Portuguese companies in Angola.

Seasonal consumption

The export of dried and salted saithe is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year. The export of dried and salted cod, however, is more seasonal.

Two thirds of the export volume of dried and salted cod is exported from Portugal in the period September to November. This suggests that dried and salted saithe is consumed throughout the year, while dried and salted cod is consumed in a more seasonal manner.

Pollock market more important

Brazil has historically been the largest market for Norwegian saithe. This export has fallen in recent years, while Africa has become an evermore important market during the same period. In 2013, 38 per cent of the Norwegian export of dried and salted saithe went to Africa. The percentage in 2008, in comparison, was only 20 per cent. The Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo are, together with Angola, the largest markets in Africa.

China

China is the largest exporter of seafood to Angola. Competition with Norwegian dried and salted fish appears to be limited at the moment, mainly because China’s export is dominated by frozen tilapia products.

China exported a small volume of dried and salted cod-based products in 2012. The volume in 2013 was more than double.

Norwegian companies should, therefore, keep a close eye on this development. This is mainly because experience from other countries has shown that the Chinese are skilled in adapting their products to supermarket chains, which is a sales channel that is growing rapidly in Angola.

Experience from Brazil has shown that the Chinese are able to develop products that can compete with both cod and saithe.

Conclusion

Our analyses show that demand for seafood in Angola is growing as a consequence of rapid economic growth. Better market knowledge will increase the probability for a successful market penetration strategy for dried and salted fish in Angola. Such knowledge is necessary in a market in rapid growth and with increasing competition.

 

TheFishSite News Desk



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