In the first quarter of 2006, seafood worth £753 million (NOK 8.5 billion) was exported from Norway to the rest of the world. Exports to Britain were up 51 per cent, mainly due to increased exports of fresh salmon and fresh salmon fillets.
This is the highest value ever registered in the first quarter, according to new figures released by the Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC). The export value is up an impressive £83 million (NOK 1 billion), or 13.5 per cent from the same period in 2005.
In March alone, exports were worth around £292 million (NOK 3.3 billion), an increase of £62 million (NOK 700 million), or 27 per cent from March 2005. The export value in March has never been higher. The strong growth in seafood exports is mainly due to increased volumes and prices for clipfish, salted fish and salmon.
Exports to the EU was worth around £461 million (NOK 5.2 billion), an increase of nearly £83 million (NOK 934 million) or 22 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2005. The EU's share of Norway's total exports has increased from 50 per cent in the first quarter of 2005 to 62 per cent in 2006.
The exports to UK, France, Poland and Spain are growing the most among the the EU member states. Exports to Britain were £54.7 million (NOK 617 million), up 51 per cent. The increase is mainly due to increased exports of fresh salmon and fresh salmon fillets.
France is still the largest recipient of Norwegian seafood, with a total value of £72 million (NOK 812 million). The increase is 27 per cent and is due to increased export of fresh salmon and fresh cod fillets. Poland increased by 50 per cent to £40 million (NOK 455 million). As elsewhere, fresh salmon increases the most, but frozen herring fillets and frozen herring flaps contribute to the positive results. The increase to Spain is an impressive 71 per cent, to £34 million (NOK 358 million). A strong increase in the export of salted cod, salted cod fillets and fresh salmon explains the increase in exports to Spain.
The increase to the USA in the first quarter is 45 per cent or £7.4 million (NOK 84 million), to £24 million (NOK 272 million). Frozen haddock and salmon fillets, fresh and frozen, are increasing strongly. The USA also imported farmed halibut worth £754,000 (NOK 8.5 million) in the first quarter, and increase of £594,000 (NOK 6.7 million) or 370 per cent.
Clipfish exports increase the most to Brazil, with an increase of £12 million (NOK 141 million) or almost 60 per cent. Import of clipfish of both saithe and cod is up. The Dominican Republic also imports more clipfish, mainly saithe. Salt fish exports are also up in the first quarter, with Spain and Portugal as the main importers. The increase to Portugal is due to higher prices, while Spain increases in both volume and price.