Export Value of Salmon, Whitefish Plunges Amid Fish Feed Bonanza

Partial view of the Port of Fuglafjørður, home of the giant Havsbrún feed, fishmeal and marine oil factory. Image credits: Bui Tyril.

During the first seven months of 2023, the Faroes exported fish products worth 6.6 billion DKK (885 million EUR), more than a 6-percent increase on the corresponding period last year, which saw a total export value of 6.2 bln. DKK (832 mln. EUR).

According to Statistics Faroe Islands, the largest growth was registered in categories ‘Mink Feed and Other Fish Produce’ i.e. primarily fish feed, and ‘Other Fish’ i.e. mostly fishmeal and marine oil. 

Thus exports of fish feed, fishmeal and marine oil increased by 882 mln. DKK (118.3 mln. EUR) or a whopping 76 percent. During the same period, meanwhile, the export value of farmed salmon nose-dived by eight percent or 255 mln. DKK (34.2 mln. EUR) with the quantity decreasing by as much as one-fifth, down to 7,283 tonnes.

The dramatic rise in the exports of fish feed is largely attributed to salmon farmer Bakkafrost’s overseas expansion in the United Kingdom, providing a new opportunity for their subsidiary feed, fishmeal and marine oil processing plant Havsbrún at Fuglafjørður, to offer their products to the aquaculture industry, notably since the salmon major’s 2019 acquisition of The Scottish Salmon Company.

The export value of cod, haddock and saithe likewise decreased year-on-year by 175 mln. DKK during the first seven months of 2023, with cod plunging one-fifth, haddock just about stable, and saith going down by 15 percent. In absolute numbers, the export value of cod totaled 580 mln. DKK (77.8 mln. EUR) during the period, with saithe making 186 mln. DKK (24.9 mln. EUR), and haddock bringing in 132 mln. DKK (17.7 EUR).