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Norwegian seafood exports overshadowed by Ukraine war

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Norway exported seafood worth NOK 11.3 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in February. This is an increase of NOK 2.6 billion, or 30%, compared with February last year.

“This is the highest value of Norwegian seafood exports ever registered in February. However, the war in Ukraine overshadows this. The dramatic situation affects us first and foremost strongly on the human level, but also affects the flow of seafood,” said Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

In February, Norway exported seafood worth NOK 176 million (USD 19.8 million) to Ukraine. “After Russia's invasion of the country a week ago, seafood exports to Ukraine have stopped. This means that products such as salmon, trout, herring and mackerel that were to go to this country must now be sold to other markets,” said, Larsen.

She also points out that there are other sanctions that affect the trade in seafood. “This entails several logistical challenges. Many airlines have, among other things, been banned from flying over Russia in recent times. This affects the flow of goods to Asia, especially for fresh and live products,” Larsen explained.

Share of Norwegian seafood exports

Russia accounts for 0.2% of the total export value of Norwegian seafood. Norway exported seafood worth NOK 248 million (27.9 million) to Russia in 2021. Exports to Russia consist mainly of live salmonids (smolt for farming), feed and ingredients for feed.

Ukraine accounts for 1.8% of the total export value of Norwegian seafood. Norway exported seafood worth NOK 2.2 billion to Ukraine in 2021. Salmon, trout, herring and mackerel are the main exports to Ukraine.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EU), including Russia, accounts for a total of 1.7% of the total export value of Norwegian seafood. Norway exported seafood worth NOK 2 billion in 2021. The Eurasian Economic Union consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Salmon, trout, herring and mackerel are the main exports to the Eurasian Economic Union.

Belarus accounts for 0.9% of the total export value of Norwegian seafood. Norway exported seafood worth NOK 1.14 billion to Belarus in 2021. Trout, herring and salmon make up the main exports to Belarus.

February was a record month for salmon

February was a new record month for Norwegian salmon. The price for fresh whole salmon was on average NOK 82.64 (USD 9.29) per kg. This is 62% higher than in the same month last year and 9% higher than in the previous record month, which was in January 2020.

“The market for salmon is still growing, even though the pandemic has not yet subsided. Lower volumes in combination with increased demand have led to record prices,” said Paul T. Aandahl, seafood analyst with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

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