Norwegian seafood weathers the Covid storm

Norwegian seafood exports in 2020 are the second-highest ever Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council Norwegian seafood exports in 2020 are the second-highest ever Photo: Norwegian Seafood Council

Despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, Norway has exported 2.7 million tonnes of seafood worth NOK105.7 billion in 2020, the second-highest value ever.

The total volume of seafood exports increased by 2% in 2020, although overall value was reduced by 1% compared with the record year of 2019.

“The industry deserves credit for the way they have adapted to uncertain and difficult market conditions in 2020,” said Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Minister of Fisheries and Seafood.

“Throughout the year, I have been impressed by the willingness and ability to adapt throughout the industry. This has largely contributed to seafood exports doing well throughout the corona year,” he added.

Five key factors have contributed to the success, namely a weakened Norwegian krone, an adaptable seafood industry, strong sales for mackerel and herring, the high value of salmon and the reputation of Norwegian seafood as a desirable global commodity.

Salmon is by far the biggest export in both volume and value, totalling 1.1 million tonnes at a value of NOK70.1 billion followed by trout which had a good year, increasing in export volume by 21%.

The value and volume of cod both fell by 4% whilst mackerel experienced record sales thanks to an increase in quotas of 41%. Herring exports were strong, saithe and haddock declined, as did prawn exports thanks mainly to a fall in demand from the UK. However the second largest shellfish species, after prawn, the king crab, experienced its best year ever whilst sales of snow crab were also strong.

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