So far this year, the value of Norwegian seafood exports to the international market has dropped to NOK 1,3 billion. Now the export companies fear the effects of the financial crisis on the industry.
- We sell a lot less fish to Spain, Greece and Italy than what we did earlier, says Knut Haagensen in Jangaard Export, a company based in Ålesund on the west coast of Norway.
Due to the financial crisis in Southern Europe, it has become more challenging to export fish abroad. Several of the countries whose economy has been hit hard have previously been lucrative clients for fish export, but are now having trouble paying their bills.
As a result, several export companies are asking their clients for cash payments in order to avoid sky-high credit claims after the sale has been completed.
Haagensen explains that he fears for his company if the trend continues. "Meanwhile we try to keep up the export to Portugal to some degree by delivering to the big supermarket chains that still have the resources to pay," he explains.
Next year it has been informed that there will be an increase in the quota for cod, which could lead to record-high amounts of cod for export.
If the economy doesn't get any better, Haagensen fears that this could have significant consequences for the export industry, but emphasizes that a lower price could also potentially lead to increased sales.