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Norway exported 111,800 tonnes of Atlantic salmon last month, 3% more than in September 2019, the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) said today.

It marks a turnaround after a reduction in exports in July and August, although prices remain a little lower than last year.

The value of September’s exports was up by 2%, or NOK 105 million (£8.7m), to NOK 6.1 billion, and the average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 49.54, down 1% from the same time last year.

Norway exported 800,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 51.8bn in the first nine months of the year.

Lower earnings

The volume is the same as in the first nine months of last year, but export value fell by NOK 363 million, or 1%.

The average price for fresh whole salmon so far this year is NOK 59.82 per kg, down 0.9% from the same period in 2019.

Poland, France and Denmark have been the largest recipients of Norwegian salmon.

Paul Aandahl: More fish going to secondary processors.
Paul Aandahl: More fish going to secondary processors.

Shift in markets

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a shift in exports to markets that further process a large proportion of salmon for resale, mainly to retailers in other markets,” explained NSC seafood analyst Paul T Aandahl.

“Poland has been the largest market here, increasing its share of export volume to 16% of all fresh whole salmon exports to just under 18% this year.”

Norwegian fisheries minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said it was gratifying that salmon exports had shown an increase in September and that the export volume so far this year is on a par with last year.

“One of the reasons is that consumers did not stop eating salmon when the restaurants closed but moved the consumption of salmon home to the kitchen,” said the minister. “The coronavirus thus creates not only challenges but also new opportunities for Norwegian seafood. The industry must learn from and utilise this in the future.”

Trout jumps

Trout export volumes increased by 41% to 7,500 tonnes in September compared to the same month in 2019 although, like salmon, the increase in returns was smaller than the rise in sales.

Export value increased by NOK 67m, or 22%, to NOK 370m.

Trout export volumes rose by 31% to 53,000 tonnes in the first nine months of this year. Export values increased by NOK 280m, or 11%, compared with the same period last year.

Ukraine, the United States and Belarus have been the largest markets for Norwegian trout.

Weak kroner

Overall, Norwegian exports of caught and farmed seafood have been worth NOK 76.7bn in the first nine months of 2020, which is NOK 623m (1%) more than in the same period last year.

“That we are managing to stay ahead of last year in export value, is due to the strong start to the year, a weak Norwegian kroner, higher export volumes and processing of individual products,” said NSC chief executive Renate Larsen.

“So far in 2020, herring, mackerel and products made from these species account for the largest increase in value, while there has been a fall in the export value of salmon, cod clip fish and shrimp.”