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Norwegian seafood exports up $4.81 billion

Norwegian seafood exports up $4.81 billion

OSLO: Norwegian seafood exports are running at a record high this year, boosted by a weak krone, as the industry shrugs off a Russian import ban by turning to Poland and western European markets.

By the end of July, the export value of Norwegian seafood was at an all-time-high of 39.7 billion kroner ($4.81 billion), a 6% increase on the same period in 2014, amid monthly export records in June and July.

Seafood exports were worth NOK5.7 billion in July alone, a 15% increase year-on-year. Norway’s dominant export product was salmon, with France, Poland and the U.K. the biggest takers.

“Norway has never had a better July for seafood exports,” said Asbjørn Warvik Rørtveit, a director at the Norwegian Seafood Council. “Salmon alone accounted for more than 40% of the July increase, achieving good prices in Norwegian kroner, even if the volumes remain the same as in July 2014.”

A year ago, Russia was among Norway’s top-three seafood markets, but in August 2014 the industry had to move quickly to find other buyers as Moscow banned seafood imports from Norway, in retaliation for the European Union and Norway’s sanctions over Ukraine.

Norwegian seafood exports have been challenged by trade barriers in recent years, including a closed Russian market, turbulent trade relations with China after the disputed 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, difficult markets in Ukraine and Nigeria, and tolls on seafood exports to the EU.