Despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Norwegian seafood exports have recorded their second-highest first quarter figure this year.
In the first three months of 2021, Norway exported seafood worth €2.7 billion. A decline in January and February was reversed the following month meaning that 2021 saw the highest ever March figure of €1.1 billion, an increase of 13.5% over the previous year, and only beaten in October 2019.
Overall the value of exports was down 3% on the previous year’s first quarter. “2021 has given us the second-best result in history for seafood exports in the first quarter. Nevertheless, we must acknowledge that there are still challenging times for parts of the industry,” said the Norwegian Seafood Council’s chief executive, Renate Larsen, who also pointed out that a weak Norwegian krone helped boost the export value in 2020.
Exports were buoyed by record volumes of salmon, mackerel and king crab, increased exports of cod to Europe and a strong start to the year for herring. Growth in Asia is strong with exports to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan increasing 40% on 2020.
More disappointing were exports of prawn, cod and trout and a low price for salted fish.