Norway’s dried fish exporters have been buoyed by the decision taken by Nigerian authorities to halve the tariffs imposed on dried fish heads, a key part of the West African country’s culinary identity.
The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) believes the lowering of the tariff rate from 20 percent to 10 percent could lead to increased demand for dried fish heads from the Scandinavian country.
Trond Kostveit, NSC’s project manager in Central and West Africa, said the reduction, which has been implemented with immediate effect, “feels like a real win” for both the Norwegian dry fish industry and for importers of Norwegian dried fish in Nigeria.
Consumers should also benefit from lower prices, he said.
In volume terms, Nigeria is Norway’s top market for dried fish, and is more or less its only market for dried heads. In 2018, 6,100 metric tons (MT) of dried fish heads worth NOK 143 million (USD 16 million, EUR 14.4 million) we exported from Norway to Nigeria.
So far this year, the trade has totaled 1,800 MT worth NOK 50 million (USD 5.6 million, EUR 5 million), which corresponds to a value decrease of 10 percent but a value increase of 19 percent year-on-year.
“Most of this year’s season has already been sold, and there has been good demand in the market as a result of a more stable currency situation,” Kostveit said. “The tariff change, on the other hand, may have an impact on the planning of next year’s production in Norway.”