Imports of Norwegian seafood remain robust
published : 20 Jan 2021 at 04:00
newspaper section: Business
writer: Lamonphet Apisitniran
Thailand has continued to import fish from Norway, with salmon at the top of the list, but while the pandemic seriously dented the global economy, Norwegian seafood exports recorded a 2% increase.
While the figure for growth represents the "second-highest value ever" worldwide, it is a 1% decline compared with the figure for 2019.
The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) yesterday reported its global exports increased to a total of 2.7 million tonnes, worth around 377 billion baht, last year.
The volume is equal to 37 million meals daily or 25,000 meals per minute.
It only saw a 1% decline in volume of fresh salmonids imported to Thailand in 2020, totalling 16,771 tonnes, worth 3.65 billion baht.
"Norwegian salmon remains Thai people's favourite along with a new trend with a shift towards more home-cooking and delivery," said Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit, NSC's Southeast Asia regional director.
NSC's total performance in the Thai market, including both fresh and frozen products, was slightly down last year, with salmon decreasing by 10% to 14,083 tonnes, fjord trout decreasing by 12% to 4,903 tonnes and mackerel decreasing by 1% to 8,873 tonnes, compared with those in 2019.
Though the seafood trends have shifted from what was foreseen in early 2020, the new normal measures have paved the way for Norwegian seafood to thrive during the pandemic, said the NSC.
With the lockdown resulting in loss of important sales channel in restaurants and hotels and logistics becoming more complicated, sales of Norwegian salmon and other seafoods were largely moved to grocery chains, delivery and takeaway services.
"The Norwegian seafood industry has managed to defy the biggest challenges amid uncertainties and instabilities around the world," said Mr Rortveit.
"We have been able to maintain a strong position in the Thai market by working closely with our business partners."
NSC is a public company owned by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. It works together with the Norwegian fisheries and aquaculture industry to develop markets for Norwegian seafood, representing the country's seafood exporters and the seafood industry.
The trademark Seafood from Norway is a symbol of origin for Norwegian seafood caught or raised in the cold clear waters of the Scandinavian country.