Norway Royal Salmon harvested 7,181 tonnes gutted weight during the first quarter of 2017.

Easter shift dents Norway seafood exports

The country’s seafood exports plunged last month, with volumes down 23 per cent and values down 7 per cent compared with April 2016. But year to date export volumes are at the same level as last year, and the value has increased by 8 per cent.

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The country exported 151,000 tonnes of seafood with a value of NOK 6.8 billion (£606 million) in April. So far this year, Norway has exported 886,000 tonnes of seafood worth NOK 31 billion (£2.76 billion).

The Norwegian Seafood Council’s director of market insight, Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, said: “The decline in seafood exports in April is mainly due to a shift in Easter, which again explains some of the decline in export volumes for our important seafood products such as salmon and clipfish.”

Norway exported 60,000 tonnes of salmon worth NOK 4.9 billion in April. The reduction in the volume of exports to the EU was 9,400 tonnes, while the total decrease in volume was 8,800 tonnes or 11 per cent. The value of Norwegian salmon exports are at the same level as April 2016. So far this year, Norway has exported 305,000 tonnes of salmon with a total value of NOK 21 billion.

Salmon price rises

While the average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 57.11 per kg in February 2016, it rose to NOK 63.59 per kg in April 2017. Poland, France and the United States were the largest export markets for salmon from Norway in April.

Norwegian Seafood Council analyst Paul Aandahl said: “Strong price growth compared with the same period last year has led to a value added of NOK 2.7 billion or 15 per cent for Norwegian salmon exports so far this year. A trend we have seen over time is that exports to the EU are reduced, while exports to overseas markets have increased.”

In April, Norway exported 2,480 tonnes of trout worth NOK 199 million. Volume fell by 5,400 tonnes or 69 per cent, while the value of trout exports fell by NOK 204 million or 51 per cent, compared with April last year. So far this year, Norway has exported 11,100 tonnes of trout worth NOK 874 million. Japan, Belarus and the United States were the largest trout export markets in April.