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Strong mackerel sales push pelagic exports up

Norwegian mackerel. (Photo Copyright: FIS)

Click on the flag for more information about NorwayNORWAY
Monday, January 12, 2015, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
Norway exported pelagic fish worth NOK 7.5 billion (USD 977.1 million) in 2014, an increase of 9 per cent year-on-year.

Mackerel exports reached NOK 4.1 billion (USD 534.2 million) in 2014, which represents a new export record for mackerel and an increase of 43 per cent from 2013. Herring exports were worth NOK 2.7 billion in 2014 (USD 351.8 million), a decrease of 14 per cent from 2013.

Japan was the largest export market for pelagic fish in 2014, followed by China and the Netherlands.

"Increased export value is the result of higher mackerel quotas and improved demand for mackerel in the markets," says senior analyst Kristin Lien at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

"Exports of mackerel to Asia have increased due to strong performances in markets such as China, Japan and South Korea. In addition, exports to Nigeria have also increased.

"The decline in herring exports was mainly due to reduced quotas as well as the Russian import ban which was introduced in August 2014. Strong demand from other markets and the resiliance and adaptability of Norwegian seafood exporters has largely offset this reduction," says Lien.

China was the largest importer of Norwegian mackerel in 2014, importing NOK 821 million by value, an increase of 44 per cent from 2013. Most Norwegian mackerel exported to China undergoes further processing and is exported to Japan, its final destination.

Direct exports to Japan increased 17 per cent from 2013 to NOK 809 million. Overall, more than 40 per cent of mackerel exported from Norway ends up being consumed in Japan. Nigeria, South Korea and the Netherlands follow Japan on the list of largest export markets for mackerel.

About 388,000 tonnes of frozen whole mackerel were exported in 2014, an increase of 60 per cent on 2013 totals. The average price of frozen whole mackerel was NOK 10.22 per kg in 2014, which represents a decrease of 9 per cent from 2013 average prices.

Germany was the biggest market for Norwegian herring in 2014, with imports worth NOK 365 million. Further herring exports worth NOK 356 million were sold to Lithuania, NOK 349 million to Russia and NOK 286 million in sales of herring to the Ukrainian market.

Norway exported 138,000 tonnes of frozen whole herring in 2014, a decrease of 37 per cent from 2013. The average price of frozen whole herring in 2014 was NOK 7.09 per kg, a decrease of 2 per cent from the 2013 average price.

The largest market for frozen whole herring in 2014 was Ukraine which imported 35,000 tonnes, a 4 per cent less than in 2013. The second largest market was Russia with 31,000 tonnes, 58 per cent less than the year before. Then follows Lithuania with 26 000 tonnes, 29 per cent less than the year before.

Exports of frozen herring fillet products totalled 109,000 tonnes last year, a 5 per cent more than in 2013. The average price of frozen herring fillet products was NOK 11.92 per kg, 2 per cent lower than in 2013.

The largest market for frozen herring fillet products in 2014 was Germany, which imported 31,000 tonnes, 14 per cent more than in 2013. In second place was Poland with 20,000 tonnes, 16 per cent up on its 2013 total, and Lithuania which imported 14,000 tonnes, some 37 per cent more than the year before.

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