The value of Norwegian shellfish exports reached a record high in July, the Norwegian Seafood Council has said, with the re-opening of high-end restaurants around the globe fuelling demand.
The export value reached NOK 406 million (€38.8 million) in the month, breaking the previously-set record the previous month by 9%, or around NOK 35 million (€3.35 million).
"Exports of crab have increased to Europe, Asia and North America," commented the Norwegian Seafood Council's Ørjan Kjærvik Olsen. "At the same time, shrimp has also had a good month."
In terms of export volumes, so far this year, Norway has exported around 14,000 tonnes of crab and shrimp, worth around NOK 1.9 billion (€180 million).
"Compared with the first seven months of 2012, ie 10 years ago, the export value amounted to around NOK 371 million (€35.5 million) for the entire period," Olsend added. "That is about as much as July of this year alone. The amount has more than doubled in the last 10 years."
King crab and snow crab exports are pushing export value up, the Council added, with king crab exports hitting 280 tonnes in July, or a value of NOK 122 million – the second strongest export month for the crab on record.
In addition, 906 tonnes of snow crab were exported, worth NOK 203 million, which is a record in both volume and value terms.
So far this year, 1,405 tonnes of king crab (valued at NOK 545 million) and 4,355 tonnes of snow crab (valued at NOK 806 million) have been exported, which is a record in both value and volume terms. South Korea is the biggest market for king crab exports, while demand for snow crab is greatest in the US, increasingly in grocery channels.
"In general, we have also had increased shellfish quotas and good fishing, in addition to which, both logistics and transport in many cases are easier than before," Olsen said.
"At the same time, Norwegian shellfish is highly recognised and sought after for its good taste and quality, which in turn contributes to increasing demand."
In June, European fishing organisation Europêche called on consumers to boycott seafood products from Norway, over what it described as an 'unlawful grab' of the European Union's fish quota.