Norwegian Seafood Exports Decline Amidst Economic Challenges

by Ella

Norway’s seafood industry faced a downturn in the first half of 2024, with exports totaling NOK 80.6 billion, marking a slight decrease of NOK 1.6 billion (2%) compared to the previous year. Despite this dip, it remains the second-highest value recorded, highlighting the industry’s resilience amidst economic pressures.

Factors Influencing Decline

The decline was notably pronounced in June, where exports plummeted by 18% (NOK 2.7 billion) compared to June of the previous year. This was primarily driven by a sharp decrease in salmon prices, a staple that accounts for 70% of Norway’s seafood export value. The average price drop of fresh whole salmon by NOK 31 had a significant adverse impact on overall export earnings.


Economic Challenges and Market Dynamics

The weakened purchasing power in key markets has further constrained demand for Norwegian seafood. High food and commodity prices relative to income levels in major consumer regions, particularly the EU, have dampened purchasing capabilities. This economic strain is expected to persist, affecting export volumes and overall market performance.


Key Species Performance and Market Insights

Salmon, despite a 3% decline in export value, remains the dominant species in Norwegian seafood exports. Other species like cod, trout, and prawn showed varied performance, reflecting market volatility and quota adjustments. Notably, farmed cod saw a significant surge in export volume and value, showcasing potential growth areas within the industry amidst broader challenges.


Top Export Markets

Poland, Denmark, and the USA emerged as the largest importers of Norwegian seafood in the first half of 2024. Canada notably recorded a substantial growth in seafood imports from Norway, underscoring diversified market opportunities amidst global economic fluctuations.


Challenges and Strategic Focus

The industry faces dual challenges of quota reductions and heightened competition from global seafood producers. Strategic initiatives focusing on sustainable practices, market diversification, and bilateral trade relations are crucial to navigating these turbulent times. The Norwegian-British seafood cooperation, for instance, exemplifies successful bilateral partnerships amidst regulatory shifts.

Outlook and Adaptation

Looking ahead, the Norwegian seafood sector aims to mitigate economic pressures through adaptive market strategies and sustainable practices. Exploring new markets and enhancing product value propositions will be pivotal in maintaining industry competitiveness and resilience in the face of ongoing challenges.



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