Frozen Fish Exports by Country

Frozen Fish Exports by Country

Fish dishes begin here

Whole frozen fish represents big business. Global sales from frozen fish exports by country amounted to US$21.6 billion in 2016.

Overall, the value of frozen fish exports were down by an average 4% for all exporting countries since 2012 when frozen fish shipments were valued at $22.5 billion. Year over year, there was an uptick in the value of global frozen fish exports appreciating by 6.2% from 2015 to 2016.

Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar value worth of frozen fish exports during 2016 with shipments totaling $7.4 billion or 34.4% of the global total. In second place was Asia at 32.4% followed by North American exporters with their 10.2% share of frozen fish international sales.

Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean generated a 9.9% share, followed by 7% for Africa and 4.8% for Oceania nations including Australia and New Zealand.

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for whole frozen fish is 0303.

Frozen Fish Exports by Country


Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of frozen fish during 2016:

  1. China: US$2.8 billion (12.8% of total frozen fish exports)
  2. Russia: $2 billion (9.1%)
  3. United States: $1.8 billion (8.4%)
  4. Norway: $1.4 billion (6.5%)
  5. Chile: $1.3 billion (6%)
  6. Taiwan: $907.2 million (4.2%)
  7. Netherlands: $872.4 million (4%)
  8. Spain: $791.1 million (3.7%)
  9. India: $629.5 million (2.9%)
  10. South Korea: $603.8 million (2.8%)
  11. Denmark: $443.8 million (2.1%)
  12. Japan: $431 million (2%)
  13. Indonesia: $388.9 million (1.8%)
  14. Iceland: $354.3 million (1.6%)
  15. Canada: $317.9 million (1.5%)

The listed 15 countries shipped over two-thirds (69.4%) of global exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing frozen fish exporters since 2012 were: Denmark (up 48.8%), China (up 21%), Canada (up 4.7%) and the Netherlands (up 2.8%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported sales were led by: South Korea (down -36.5%), Iceland (down -25.5%), Taiwan (down -25.3%), Indonesia (down -25.2%) and Spain (down -23.2%).


The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for frozen fish during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s frozen fish exports and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. Norway: US$1.3 billion (net export surplus down -10.2% since 2012)
  2. Russia: $1.3 billion (up 9.4%)
  3. Chile: $1.3 billion (down -0.6%)
  4. United States: $1.1 billion (down -19.4%)
  5. Taiwan: $707.9 million (down -33.1%)
  6. India: $618.4 million (down -5.4%)
  7. Netherlands: $392.7 million (up 34.6%)
  8. Iceland: $347.8 million (down -25.4%)
  9. Mauritania: $291.7 million (up 102.4%)
  10. Indonesia: $270.5 million (down -31.1%)
  11. New Zealand: $258.8 million (down -27%)
  12. Argentina: $249.7 million (down -8.2%)
  13. Faroe Islands: $248 million (up 11.2%)
  14. Papua New Guinea: $230.3 million (up 288.7%)
  15. Senegal: $193.7 million (up 106.7%)

Norway has the highest surplus in the international trade of frozen fish. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Norway’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.


The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for frozen fish during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s frozen fish import purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. Japan: -US$2.6 billion (net export deficit down -30.9% since 2012)
  2. Thailand: -$1.7 billion (down -22.9%)
  3. Vietnam: -$1 billion (up 665.5%)
  4. South Korea: -$714.4 million (up 92%)
  5. China: -$484.7 million (down -54.8%)
  6. Nigeria: -$364.3 million (down -70.4%)
  7. Italy: -$315 million (down -6%)
  8. Egypt: -$291.3 million (down -18.9%)
  9. Côte d’Ivoire: -$284.4 million (down -13.3%)
  10. Cameroon: -$280.9 million (up 18.5%)
  11. Hong Kong: -$265.1 million (up 77.1%)
  12. Ukraine: -$229.6 million (down -46.5%)
  13. Philippines: -$223.5 million (up 371.6%)
  14. Portugal: -$215.1 million (down -26.5%)
  15. Poland: -$204.2 million (up 22.2%)

Japan incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of frozen fish. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Japan’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for frozen fish-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful consumer demand for fish.


Frozen Fish Exporting Companies

Below are some of the world’s largest frozen fish processors and exporters. Show within parenthesis is the country where the conglomerate is headquartered.

  • Zoneco Group (China)
  • Chicken of the Sea (United States)
  • Brig-Star LLC (Russia)
  • SalMar ASA (Norway)
  • Marine Harvest (Norway)
  • High Liner Foods (Canada)
  • Thai Union Group Public Company Limited (Thailand)
  • Nippon Suisan Kaisha aka Nissui (Japan)
  • Dongwon Enterprise Company (South Korea)
  • Pescanova, SA (Spain)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following companies are also multinational suppliers of frozen fish:

  • Panwin International (China)
  • Asian Seafoods Zhanjiang (China)
  • Marine Harvest Chile (Chile)
  • Riverlands (New Zealand)
  • CLP Import Export Frozen Fish (Canada)


Searchable List of Frozen Fish Exporting Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below.

RankExporter2016 Frozen Fish Exports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$2.8 billion12.8%
2.Russia$2 billion9.1%
3.United States$1.8 billion8.4%
4.Norway$1.4 billion6.5%
5.Chile$1.3 billion6%
6.Taiwan$907.2 million4.2%
7.Netherlands$872.4 million4%
8.Spain$791.1 million3.7%
9.India$629.5 million2.9%
10.South Korea$603.8 million2.8%
11.Denmark$443.8 million2.1%
12.Japan$431 million2%
13.Indonesia$388.9 million1.8%
14.Iceland$354.3 million1.6%
15.Canada$317.9 million1.5%
16.Mauritania$291.7 million1.4%
17.Vietnam$286.6 million1.3%
18.New Zealand$268.7 million1.2%
19.Portugal$261.2 million1.2%
20.Faroe Islands$252.8 million1.2%
21.Argentina$251.1 million1.2%
22.Papua New Guinea$235.5 million1.1%
23.France$235 million1.1%
24.Senegal$212.6 million1%
25.Seychelles$210 million1%
26.Morocco$208 million1%
27.United Kingdom$202.7 million0.9%
28.Greenland$182.1 million0.8%
29.Namibia$152.1 million0.7%
30.Ireland$149.1 million0.7%
31.Germany$138.6 million0.6%
32.Thailand$121.6 million0.6%
33.South Africa$120.1 million0.6%
34.Australia$116.2 million0.5%
35.Kiribati$115.5 million0.5%
36.Myanmar$112.6 million0.5%
37.Malaysia$99.5 million0.5%
38.Mauritius$98.8 million0.5%
39.Hong Kong$93.5 million0.4%
40.Vanuatu$93.1 million0.4%
41.Oman$89.1 million0.4%
42.Panama$88.8 million0.4%
43.Ecuador$88.3 million0.4%
44.Sweden$87.4 million0.4%
45.Brazil$81.8 million0.4%
46.Uruguay$81.4 million0.4%
47.Philippines$75.6 million0.4%
48.Marshall Islands$73.3 million0.3%
49.Singapore$72.6 million0.3%
50.Pakistan$70.3 million0.3%
51.Peru$64.5 million0.3%
52.Mexico$63.9 million0.3%
53.Turkey$61.5 million0.3%
54.Micronesia$57.1 million0.3%
55.Colombia$54.9 million0.3%
56.Sri Lanka$49.9 million0.2%
57.Maldives$47.2 million0.2%
58.Malta$46 million0.2%
59.Guinea$45.3 million0.2%
60.Curaçao$40.3 million0.2%
61.Poland$34.9 million0.2%
62.Belgium$34.6 million0.2%
63.Tanzania$30 million0.1%
64.Estonia$29.6 million0.1%
65.Sierra Leone$27.4 million0.1%
66.Venezuela$27.4 million0.1%
67.Falkland Is. (Malvinas)$26.4 million0.1%
68.Bangladesh$23.9 million0.1%
69.Cabo Verde$23.3 million0.1%
70.Yemen$23.1 million0.1%
71.Suriname$22.5 million0.1%
72.Latvia$20.4 million0.1%
73.Fiji$20.1 million0.1%
74.Nicaragua$18.6 million0.1%
75.United Arab Emirates$17.6 million0.1%
76.Croatia$17.1 million0.1%
77.Cook Islands$16.7 million0.1%
78.Trinidad/Tobago$16.4 million0.1%
79.Lithuania$16.3 million0.1%
80.Samoa$16.1 million0.1%
81.Italy$15.7 million0.1%
82.Ghana$13.3 million0.1%
83.Finland$10.8 million0.1%
84.Solomon Islands$10 million0.05%
85.El Salvador$9.8 million0.05%
86.Saint Helena$9.2 million0.04%
87.Tuvalu$8.8 million0.04%
88.Ukraine$8.8 million0.04%
89.Greece$8.4 million0.04%
90.Kazakhstan$8.3 million0.04%
91.Fr. S. Antarctic Territories$8.1 million0.04%
92.Georgia$7.8 million0.04%
93.Guinea-Bissau$7 million0.03%
94.North Korea$7 million0.03%
95.Zimbabwe$6.7 million0.03%
96.Czech Republic$6.1 million0.03%
97.US Minor Outlying Is.$6.1 million0.03%
98.Somalia$6 million0.03%
99.Angola$5.9 million0.03%
100.Côte d'Ivoire$5.4 million0.03%
101.Madagascar$5 million0.02%
102.Kenya$4.8 million0.02%
103.Belarus$4.4 million0.02%
104.Iran$4.1 million0.02%
105.Austria$4 million0.02%
106.Uganda$3.5 million0.02%
107.Tunisia$3.2 million0.01%
108.Guyana$3.1 million0.01%
109.Mozambique$2.4 million0.01%
110.Bulgaria$2.3 million0.01%
111.Saudi Arabia$1.9 million0.01%
112.Bahrain$1.9 million0.01%
113.Br. Indian Ocean Terr.$1.8 million0.01%
114.Romania$1.3 million0.01%
115.Lesotho$1.3 million0.01%
116.Libya, State of$1.1 million0.01%
117.Egypt$1.1 million0.01%
118.Costa Rica$1 million0.005%
119.Brunei Darussalam$789,0000.004%
132.Burkina Faso$303,0000.001%
140.St. Pierre/Miquelon$162,0000.001%
150.Saint Kitts/Nevis$57,0000.0003%
151.Cocos (Keeling) Is.$44,0000.0002%
153.Turks/Caicos Is.$40,0000.0002%
156.British Virgin Is.$31,0000.0001%
158.New Caledonia$27,0000.0001%
160.St Vincent/Grenadines$13,0000.0001%
161.French Polynesia$11,0000.0001%
165.Christmas Island$5,0000.00002%

See also Highest Value Chinese Export Products and China’s Top Import Partners

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 30, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 30, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 30, 2017

Wikipedia, List of seafood companies. Accessed on May 30, 2017

UnderCurrentNews, Free sample of world’s top 100 seafood companies report. Accessed on November 19, 2015

Zepol’s company summary highlights by HTS code. Accessed on November 19, 2015