Norway Sees Decline in King Crab Exports, Surge in Snow Crab Exports

by Ella

In the first half of this year, Norway witnessed a notable downturn in its king crab exports, according to the Norwegian Seafood Council. Data reveals a 27% decrease in value and a 29% drop in volume compared to the same period last year. Specifically, Norway exported 648 tonnes of king crab valued at NOK 347 million (approximately €29.9 million or £25.7 million). Analysts attribute this decline to reduced quotas, adverse weather conditions early in the year, and an extended closed season in March and April.

The primary markets for Norwegian king crab during this period were the US, Canada, and Vietnam. Despite the challenges, the US maintained its position as the largest market, increasing its share by 11 percentage points to 44%. Exports to the US saw a slight 2% increase in value, reaching NOK 176 million (about €15.2 million or £13 million).


Moreover, due to limited global supply, the demand for Norwegian king crab drove live prices to a record NOK 596 per kg, surpassing the previous record set in the first half of 2022. The export share of frozen king crab also rose significantly from 30% to 43%, largely due to increased shipments to the US following depletion of pre-sanction Russian crab stocks.


In June alone, Norway exported 110 tonnes of king crab worth NOK 51 million (approximately €4.4 million or £3.8 million), marking a 58% decrease in value and a 52% drop in volume compared to June of the previous year.


In contrast to the decline in king crab exports, Norway’s snow crab and prawn sectors reported strong performances in the first half of the year. Snow crab exports reached record highs with 6,302 tonnes valued at NOK 711 million (approximately €61.3 million or £52.8 million), indicating a 48% increase in value and a 33% rise in volume from the previous year. Top markets for snow crab included the US, Denmark, and the Netherlands.


Similarly, the prawn sector experienced its best first half-year performance in 24 years, exporting 15,178 tonnes valued at NOK 754 million (approximately €65 million or £56 million). This represents a 17% increase in value and a 52% rise in volume compared to the same period last year. Sweden, the UK, and Denmark emerged as the largest markets for prawns, driven by robust fishing results in the Barents Sea and increased demand from Iceland and Canada.

Marte Sofie Danielsen, a seafood analyst at the Norwegian Seafood Council, attributed the positive performance of the snow crab and prawn sectors to increased quotas and improved market conditions. “The value record is due to an increased supply of snow crab and an improved market situation compared with last year,” Danielsen explained.

Despite the challenges faced by the king crab sector in the first half of the year, the overall seafood export industry in Norway finds some positive momentum through the strong performance of snow crab and prawn exports.



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