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Norwegian live crab exports rocket 90%

Asia remained the biggest market last year.

Exports of Norwegian live crab shot up by 90 percent in 2016, according to latest data by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC).

Live crab exports made up a 49 percent share of overall exports, an increase of 38 percent from 2015.

Exports of king crab amounted to NOK 529 million (€58.2 million/$61.6 million) last year, a jump of 45 percent from the year prior.

Snow crab exports totaled NOK 338 million (€37.2 million/$39.4 million), increasing 74 percent over the year.

Kristin Lien, senior market analyst at NSC, told IntraFish sister publication FiskeribladetFiskaren live king crab is priced significantly higher compared to their frozen counterparts.

Average prices for live crab are NOK 222.14 (€24.50/$25.90) per kilogram, while frozen crab fetch on average NOK 250.93 (€27.60/$29.20) per kilogram.

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Russia and Alaska remained the largest exporters of crab last year, but Norway made good use of its position in the crab market last year, Tor Edgar Ripman, marketing director at the Norwegian Fishermen's Sales Organization (Norges Rafisklag), told FiskeribladetFiskaren.

"Only Norway delivers live crab," he said.

"We have a coastal fleet that is well suited catch exactly what buyers need. In Russia and Alaska the conditions are tougher, and they fish in deeper waters with larger vessels."

Norway is alone in the market from January to August-September.

Ripman expects most of the Norwegian quota of 2,000 metric tons will be caught in that period.

King crab is a luxury product that is largely going to South Korea, which has the logistics to handle live crab for further export.

Cape Fish and Norway King Crab are the two Norwegian players in the live crab market.

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