Norwegian cod exports hit all-time high in February

Fishing for skrei near Rost in the Lofoten Islands.

Fishing for skrei near Røst in the Lofoten Islands. Photo: Johan Wildhagen

Cod exports, which include clipfish, salted and dried cod, totaled NOK 1.18 billion in February. This increase amounts to 24 percent, or NOK 229 million, in comparison with February 2010, according to figures issued by the Norwegian Seafood Export Council. Never before have cod exports been greater in the month of February and it is, in particular, the exports of clipfish, salted and fresh cod that have led to the increase.

“Huge demand has been reported for cod for salting and drying in Portugal. Both salted and fresh cod form the raw material for the Portuguese clipfish industry,” explains market analyst Ove Johansen, at the NSEC. “In addition, the Easter sales of clipfish have now really taken off, and total cod exports to Portugal increased by more than 75 percent in February.”

Clipfish worth NOK 454 million was exported in February, representing an increase of 42 percent, or NOK 135.2 million, on February 2010. In volume terms, this amounts to 41 percent. A total of 12,200 tonnes of clipfish were exported in February, 3,550 tonnes more than in 2010. Clipfish from cod increased in value by NOK 63.2 to a total of NOK 222 million, while clipfish from saithe increased by NOK 56.8 million to NOK 185.5 million.

Brazil was the largest recipient of clipfish in February, purchasing clipfish worth NOK 272.7 million. This amounted to a total volume of 6,969 tonnes, an increase on the same month last year of more than 85 percent in value terms and 95 percent in volume.

Salted fish exports in top gear

Export of all salted fish products amounted to NOK 167.6 million in February, representing an increase of 49 percent, or NOK 54.8 million, on February 2010. Total volumes exported amounted to 4,930 tonnes, and this is 1,142 tonnes, or 30 percent, more than the previous year. Whole salted cod increased in value by 63 percent, from NOK 93.6 million to 153 million. Portugal is responsible for most of the growth in salted cod exports.

Reduction in dried cod

In February, export of all dried cod products amounted to NOK 39.5 million. This represents a reduction of 21 percent, or NOK 10.4 million, from February 2010. In volume terms, exports fell by 38 percent to a total of 437 tonnes.

Exports of Norwegian cod stockfish from Lofoten to Italy fell by NOK 6.7 million to NOK 22.1 million. February kilogram prices amounted to 135.67 NOK/kg, an increase of 33 percent from February last year

Exports of fresh white fish products from the fisheries increased in February by more than 23 percent compared with the same month last year, reaching a total of NOK 187.2 million. This is the highest value ever for the month of February. The greatest interest is in fresh whole cod, for which the volume increased by 56 percent, or 1,356 tonnes, from last February to a total of 3,787 tonnes this February.

“In certain markets, the interest from the food retail sector in participating in skrei (spawning Arctic cod) promotions has been far greater than in previous years, and this has yielded results in increased sales. It is also positive to register that average prices maintain a higher level compared with last year, even if volumes have increased. The challenge over the last few weeks has been the weather, which has posed problems for suppliers’ stable deliveries in the quantities that the market has demanded,” says Karin Olsen, who is Marketing Manager for cod at the NSEC.

Reduction for frozen white fish products

In February, exports of frozen white fish products were worth NOK 266.3 billion. This is a reduction in value terms of 17 percent, compared with the same month in 2010. In volume terms, the reduction was 27 percent. The greatest reduction was for frozen whole cod and haddock.

Aquaculture increasing

In February, total exports of farmed white fish reached NOK 30.3 million.  This is 9.5 percent or NOK 2.6 million higher than February 2010. Most of the growth comes from whole farmed cod, amounting in total to NOK 22 million, an increase of 13.6 percent or NOK 2.6 million on February 2010. Spain and Sweden are the largest markets, and were responsible for 31 percent and 24 percent of all whole farmed cod in February.

Source: Seafood From Norway

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