Norway’s seafood exports passed the NOK 70bn mark (£5.9bn) during the first six months of this year – higher than for the whole of 2015.

The half year figures from the Norwegian Seafood Council today show that the sector is heading for another record breaking year, adding that January to June has been a “fantastic” period for salmon.

Total seafood sales show a value growth of 31% or NOK 16.4bn (£1.36bn) against the first half of 2021.

Børge Grønbech, the Seafood Council’s acting CEO, said: “Norwegian seafood exports have left behind a historically good first half year. Rising global food prices, lower raw material supply and strong growth in demand are the main reasons for this record. After six months, we have actually exceeded the export value for the whole of 2015.”

He added: “Salmon still accounts for the largest share of export value, but also species such as trout, cod, saithe and haddock have left behind a record-breaking six months.

“Measured in export value, 2022 has so far been a fantastic year for Norwegian salmon. Lower production volumes and increasing demand have resulted in record high prices, which is a significant contribution to the export record in the first half of the year.”

First half salmon exports totalled 534,500 tonnes worth NOK 48.4bn (£4bn). The volume was down by 5%, but the value shot up by 13.7% or NOK 13.2bn (£1.1bn) thanks to soaring prices.

The average price for fresh whole salmon was NOK 87.37 per kilo against NOK 58.29 a kilo over the same period last year. Poland, France and the United States were the largest markets for salmon.

Seafood Council analyst Paul T. Aandahl said: “The largest increase in value has been to France and Italy. To France, the value increased by 50%, while the export volume increased by 7% Exports to Italy increased by 62% in value, while volume increased by 3%.”

Salmon exports last month were the best ever for June totalling NOK 8.8bn (£733m), a value rise of 41%. The volume dropped by 11% to 87,800 tonnes.

It was also a good six months for farmed trout with the value of exports up by 35% or NOK 562m (£47m) to NOK 2.1bn (£176m).

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