For the first time since April 1989, the U.S. ranks as the largest market for Norwegian seafood exports, with Norway exporting more than $112 million worth of seafood to the U.S. in January 2023, an increase of 41% since January 2022.

Norway totaled more than $1.2 billion worth of seafood exports in January 2023 — a record for the month and 23% increase compared with January 2022, according to Norway's Seafood Council.

Norway’s seafood exports went to 116 countries, with the largest markets for Norwegian seafood exports in January being the U.S., Denmark and Poland.

“Price growth is the most important reason why January was another record month for seafood exports,” said Christian Chramer, CEO of Norway's Seafood Council. “The export prices for salmon, cod, trout, pollock and herring were significantly higher than in January 2022. Despite troubled times and changing product flows, seafood exports have reached new heights.”

Despite lower export volumes of salmon, cod, trout and haddock, increased export volumes of pollock and herring contributed to the increase in export value.

“A weaker Norwegian krone has also contributed to the record,” Chramer said.

The U.S. was the country with the largest growth in Norway’s seafood exports measured by value in January, with an increase of more than $33 million compared to January last year. The export volume to the U.S. was down 4% from the same month a year ago.

According to Norway's Seafood Council, the U.S. is currently Norway's most significant salmon market and the market where the value of salmon exports increased the most in the first month of the year.

“We see a strong increase in demand for Norwegian salmon in the American market”, says Anne-Kristine Øen, Norway´s seafood envoy to the U.S. “There could be several reasons for this. A strong dollar and reduced competition from salmon from other nations contribute positively. The demand for salmon, in general, has increased sharply after the pandemic. We had increased food prices through 2022, and the salmon is still competitive compared to other proteins.”

Due to market conditions including supply disruptions from Alaska and Russia, Norway’s live king crab exports to North America are also enjoying strong growth as 2023 begins, with sales increasing 92% (around $2 million) compared to January 2022.

Fresh seafood prices overall had just a small uptick in January 2023 versus a year ago in January, according to IRI retail data. During the past 52 weeks, seafood prices went up 8.2%, trailing the rate of inflation for the overall food and beverage category. Frozen and shelf-stable seafood (cans and pouches) also had relatively mild inflation.

For more seafood market insights, make sure to check out the Seafood Report 2023 in our February e-magazine.