Stiff competition among Japan and other fish exporters has compelled Norway to diversify into export of dried stock fish heads into Nigeria.
In the last one year, a total of 7,900 tonnes of dried fish valued at N8.07billion ($22. 12million) was imported into the country at $2,800 per tonne.
The country currently enjoys 50 per cent duties cut, which has fueled massive importation of the specie into the country.
It was learnt that Norwegian exporters now enjoy 10 per cent duties instead of 20 per cent on dried stockfish.
Mauritania and Japan had edged out Norway in Nigerian fish market amid tight quota and restriction.
Until last year, when the Japanese traders invaded the country with cheap pacific mackerel, the market in the country was dominated by Norwegian fish exporters.
Data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that current fish production in the country stood at 0.8 million tonnes, while the demand was 2.7 million tonnes, giving a deficit of 1.9 million tonnes.
According to Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), the recent demand for dried fish heads is a blessing to them.
The council’s representative in Central and West Africa, Trond Kostveit, said: “This is something we have worked on, and we have been in dialogue with the authorities to get for a long time. It feels like a real victory for both the Norwegian seafood industry and for those who work with imports of Norwegian stock fish in Nigeria.”
He noted that Nigeria was the biggest market for Norwegian stockfish in volume and more or less the only market for dried heads.
In 2018, findings revealed that Norway mackerel exports to the country declined by 50 per cent because of the stiff competition introduced by the Japanese traders, forcing Norwegian traders to shift to stock fish export.
Kostveit explained: “With this sharp reduction of tariffs for stockfish heads, the optimism we’ve seen in the Nigerian market this year only increase. For importers, this will mean significantly better purchasing power and consumers will also benefit from lower prices.”
In October, 2019, statistics by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position revealed that 12, 292 tonnes of fish were discharged at Lagos and Delta Port.
The seafood product was offloaded by five vessels
At Warri Port, Novaya Zemlya came with 1,423tonnes; Yunder Echo, 2,210 tonnes and Orange Sea 1,337tonnes.
Also, Green Chile and Water Phoenix berthed with 4,525 tonnes and 2,797.231 tonnes respectively.
In April this year, both Lagos and Rivers ports took delivery of 30, 825.3 metric tonnes of fish valued at N16.9billion ($46.23million)
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position revealed that the fish were ferried to the ports by 10 vessels
Three of the vessels berthed with 3,509.3 tonnes at Rivers Port in Port Harcourt, while seven ships berthed with 27,316 tonnes at the Lagos Port Complex.
At the Rivers Port Complex, MV Delta Reefer offloaded 1,191.71 tonne, MV Libra, 747.751 tonnes and Super Maritime, 1,569.84 tonnes.
The Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) of Lagos Port received Nova Zeelandia laden with 3,900 tonnes and Green Klipper, 3,000 tonnes.
Other vessels laden with 10, 409 tonnes at ENL Consortium terminal at Lagos Port include MV Runaway Bay with 5,631tonnes; Frio Las Palmas, 4,130tonnes; Baltic Forward, 5,355 tonnes; Sierra Laurel, 4,000tonnes and Orange Spirit, 1,300 tonnes.