Anne-Kristine Øen, the Norwegian Seafood Council's seafood envoy in the United States, which became the biggest single country market for Norwegian salmon in January.

Another earnings record for Norwegian salmon

High prices pushed export value up by 25% in January despite drop in volume sold


Norway exported salmon worth NOK 8.9 billion (£724.7 million) in January, an increase in value of NOK 1.8 bn, or 25%, compared to the same month last year.

The increase was entirely due to higher prices, as limited supply meant that the volume of exported salmon fell by 6% to 89,698 tonnes, the Norwegian Seafood Council said in its monthly report.

“Low volume, in combination with increased demand for Norwegian salmon, has lifted the export price to NOK 93.25 (£7.59 per kilo) for fresh whole salmon in January,” said Council analyst Paul Aandahl. That price is 32% higher than in January 2022.

US hunger for salmon

The United States was the country that spent the most on Norwegian salmon, followed by Poland, where a lot of secondary processing takes place, and then France.

The value of salmon exports to the US increased by 59%, or NOK 344 m, compared to January 2022.

“We see a strong increase in demand for Norwegian salmon in the American market,” said Anne-Kristine Øen, the Council’s seafood envoy to the US.

“There could be several reasons for this. Both a strong dollar and reduced competition from salmon from other nations contribute positively. The demand for salmon in general has increased sharply after the pandemic. We had increased food prices through 2022, and the salmon is still competitive in price compared to other proteins.”

The 10 top markets (by value) for Norwegian salmon last month. The US was the biggest earner for exporters, followed by Poland, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, China, UK, and Sweden.

There was a decrease in the value and volume of Norwegian farmed trout exports in January.

Norway exported 3,117 tonnes of trout worth NOK 310 m, which represented falls of 7% in volume and NOK 24 m, or 28%, in value. The US, Thailand, and Lithuania were the biggest markets.

Overall, Norway exported NOK 12.7 bn worth of seafood in January, the highest value ever for that month. Seafood export value increased by NOK 2.4 bn, or 23%, compared to January last year.

“Price growth is the most important reason why January was another record month for seafood exports. The export prices for salmon, cod, trout, pollock, and herring were significantly higher than in January 2022,” said the Council’s chief executive, Christian Chramer.

Europe struggles

“Despite troubled times and changed product flows, seafood exports have reached new heights. Inflation is still high in large parts of the world, and consumers in Europe in particular have significant challenges with lower purchasing power and negative expectations for their own economy going forward.

“Only 66% of Norway’s total exports of salmon measured in value went to Europe in January. This is the lowest proportion of salmon that has gone to Europe in a single month since April 1989.”

Chramer said that despite lower export volumes of salmon, cod, trout and haddock, increased export volumes of pollock and herring contributed to the increase in export value. A weaker Norwegian krone has also contributed to the record.

January was the 17th month in a row in which the value of Norwegian seafood exports exceeded NOK 10 billion. In August 2021, seafood exports were worth NOK 9.6 bn.