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Stable Norwegian Seafood Exports in 2020 Despite the Corona Pandemic

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Stable Norwegian Seafood Exports in 2020 Despite the Corona Pandemic

Stable Norwegian Seafood Exports in 2020 Despite the Corona Pandemic
January 12
09:48 2021
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Despite a very demanding year, Norway exported 2.7 million tonnes of seafood worth NOK105.7 billion (€10.2 billion) in 2020. This is the second-highest value ever and equates to 37 million meals every day throughout the year or 25,000 meals per minute.

The total volume of seafood exports increased by 2 per cent in 2020, while the value was reduced by 1 per cent, or NOK1.5 billion, compared with the record year of 2019.

“Even though 2020 was a very different year, much of our seafood exports have managed to defy the biggest challenges in the wake of the corona pandemic. We have seen how strong Norwegian seafood is globally and can be proud of the industry´s ability to adapt quickly here at home as well as maintaining the strong position we have with consumers worldwide,” says Renate Larsen, CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

A strong start to the year

2020 began well for Norwegian seafood exports, with high values and optimism for another record year, but then the corona pandemic hit markets worldwide.

“As societies started to shut down, Norwegian seafood exports lost a very important sales channel, namely the restaurant and hotel segment. There were challenges in logistics, and sales of seafood were largely moved to grocery chains, online shopping and takeaway services,” says Renate Larsen.

Despite this, the export value has remained stable in 2020.

“The picture is still nuanced. There has been a very positive development for products such as herring and mackerel, while there have been challenges and declines for clipfish and stockfish, among other things,” says Renate Larsen.

Five important factors

2020 was the second-best year ever for Norwegian seafood exports. There are largely five factors that have contributed to this:

  • A weakened Norwegian krone
  • An adaptable seafood industry
  • Individual species such as mackerel and herring have experienced strong growth
  • The export value for salmon is the second highest ever
  • Norwegian seafood is a highly sought-after global commodity

Responsive to new seafood trends

“Norwegian seafood has responded to many of the strongest growth trends in consumer behaviour, such as an increased focus on value-based choices related to health and sustainability. This is exciting and good news when we now hopefully very soon, start to put the corona pandemic behind us. The restaurant market will gradually begin to reopen, and many more consumers have learned to make fish and shellfish at home,” adds Renate Larsen.


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