Despite the pandemic, Norway was able to make headway as world leader in providing safe and healthy seafood; having already surpassed its 2019 export values.

So far, with still a quarter to go before the end of 2020, Norway’s seafood exports to date has already reached a total of NOK 76.7 billion. When compared to the figures for the same period last year, current Norwegian seafood exports posted an increase of NOK 623 million or nearly one percent (1%) of its 2019 achievement.

CEO Renate Larsen of the Norwegian Seafood Council took pride in announcing that

“We are managing to stay ahead of last year’s export values since we saw a strong start this year even with a weak Norwegian kroner, there were higher export volumes and individual product processing. Although there was a slump in the export values of clipfish cod and shrimp, other species like herring, mackerel, and their related products are yielding the largest increases in values.”

Increased Demand in Processed and Frozen Seafood Products Identified as Main Cause of Decline

Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen (H) of Fisheries and Seafood noted that the impressive record high export values achieved by the country in the past nine (9) months, demonstrate that the seafood industry has many legs with which it can stand. During a period that was marked by several uncertainties particularly the COVID-19 health crisis, a closer look at the achievements in the past three (3) quarters gives a clearer picture of how growth was achieved.

When Norway went into lockdown due to the pandemic, the industry’s second and third quarter export values went down by three percent (3%) and five percent (5%), respectively. Yet the seafood industry had a good start in the first quarter of 2020, in which the export values saw an increase of 11%,

When compared to the value achieved in September last year, there is actually a decrease of two (2%). A decline in the demand for clipfish along with other seafood products was the main cause.

According to the Norwegian Seafood Council, several markets are seeing an increased demand for processed and prepacked seafood, as these products like frozen fish and clipfish have longer “sell-by” dates. Nonetheless, the council reports that the Norwegian seafood industry has proven agile enough to shift productions in order to meet current consumers’ needs and preferences.

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