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Capture of small pelagic species. (Photo: Stockfile)

2012 pelagic exports fall year-on-year

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Friday, January 18, 2013, 22:40 (GMT + 9)

The value of exports of pelagic fish in 2012 totalled NOK 7.5 billion (EUR 1 billion), down by NOK 1.1 billion (EUR 148.4 million) from the previous year. This is despite 2012 being the second best year ever for exports of Norwegian herring, mackerel, capelin and other pelagic species.

Exports of Norwegian herring in 2012 were valued at NOK 4.1 billion (EUR 553 million), a decline of 4 per cent. Exports of mackerel in 2012 were valued at NOK 3 billion (EUR 404.7 million), down by 18 per cent from the previous year.

“The downturn in the value of exports is primarily the result of lower quotas for herring and lower prices for mackerel. The average price of pelagic products in 2012 has been about the same as in the previous year. Mackerel prices have dropped sharply, but herring prices have gone up,” comments senior analyst Kristin Lien from the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC).

Russia was the biggest market for pelagic fish in 2012, followed by Germany, Japan, Ukraine and China.

“While the herring markets in eastern Europe and the EU hold steady the mackerel markets in Asia saw a sharp drop,” explains Lien.

Record herring prices

Herring has never before been sold at such high prices as in 2012. The average price for frozen whole herring in 2012 was NOK 7.91 (EUR 1.07) per kg, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2011. 

The volume of exports of frozen whole herring in 2012 totalled 205,000 tonnes, down by 27 per cent from 2011. The biggest markets in terms of export volume were Russia with 60,000 tonnes, Ukraine with 58,000 tonnes and Lithuania with 26,000 tonnes.

In terms of value, Russia remains the biggest market for Norwegian herring with exports in 2012 totalling NOK 915 million (EUR 123.4 million), followed by Germany at NOK 757 million (EUR 102.1 million) and Ukraine at NOK 496 million (EUR 66.9 million).

The volume of exports of frozen Norwegian herring fillet products in 2012 totalled 133,000 tonnes, down by 9 per cent from 2011. The biggest markets measured in volume were Germany with 46,000 tonnes, Russia with 30,000 tonnes and Poland with 16,000 tonnes. 

The average price of frozen herring fillet products in 2012 was NOK 14.39 (EUR 1.94) per kg, an increase of 19 per cent compared to 2011.

Japan biggest mackerel market

Japan was the biggest mackerel market in 2012, with exports valued at a total of NOK 510 million (EUR 68.8 million), a decline of 56 per cent from 2011. China, which processes much of its imports of Norwegian mackerel for re-export to Japan, is the next biggest market with imports in 2012 valued at NOK 502 million (EUR 67.7 million). This means that about one-third of all mackerel exports from Norway are consumed in Japan.

The average price of frozen whole mackerel in 2012 was NOK 10.73 (EUR 1.45) per kg, down by 23 per cent from 2011.

Russia biggest market for capelin

Exports of capelin in 2012 were valued at a total of NOK 375 million (EUR 50.6 million), a decline of 31 per cent from the previous year. Russia was the biggest market for capelin, with exports from Norway last year valued at NOK 119 million (EUR 16.1 million), down by 19 per cent from 2011. 

China is the next biggest market for Norwegian capelin with exports in 2012 valued at NOK 69 million (EUR 9.3 million), down by 8 per cent compared to 2011, followed by Ukraine at NOK 40 million (EUR 5.4 million) and Japan at NOK 35 million (EUR 4.7 million). 

Related article:

- Pelagic exports higher than ever 

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