Frozen Fish Exports by Country

Frozen Fish Exports by Country

Fish dishes begin here

Whole frozen fish represents big business, given that worldwide sales from frozen fish exports by country totaled US$25.4 billion in 2018.

Overall, the value of frozen fish exports rose by an average 9.2% for all exporting countries since 2014 when frozen fish shipments were valued at $23.3 billion. Year over year, there was an uptick in the value of global frozen fish exports appreciating by 4.9% from 2017 to 2018.

Among continents, European countries sold the highest dollar value worth of frozen fish exports during 2018 with shipments amounting to $8.5 billion or about a third (33.3%) of the global total. Close behind in second place were exporters in Asia at 31.7% followed by Latin America (10.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then North America (9.8%). Smaller percentages came from Africa (7.8%) and Oceania (5%) led by New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

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

Frozen Fish Exports by Country


Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of frozen fish during 2018.

  1. China: US$2.9 billion (11.3% of exported frozen fish)
  2. Russia: $2.6 billion (10.1%)
  3. United States: $2 billion (8%)
  4. Chile: $1.8 billion (7.2%)
  5. Norway: $1.4 billion (5.3%)
  6. Taiwan: $1.2 billion (4.7%)
  7. Netherlands: $1 billion (4.1%)
  8. Spain: $935.8 million (3.7%)
  9. India: $700.1 million (2.8%)
  10. South Korea: $681.6 million (2.7%)
  11. Japan: $624.1 million (2.5%)
  12. Denmark: $481.7 million (1.9%)
  13. Greenland: $468.1 million (1.8%)
  14. Mauritania: $392.6 million (1.5%)
  15. Iceland: $391.8 million (1.5%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped well over two-thirds (69.2%) of global exports in 2017.

Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing frozen fish exporters since 2014 were: Greenland (up 130.4%), Denmark (up 38.3%), Russia (up 36.3%) and Mauritania (up 36.2%).

Five countries posted declines in their exported frozen fish sales namely: Norway (down -23.2%), Iceland (down -16.8%), South Korea (down -7.7%), United States (down -0.6%) and India (also down -0.6%).


The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for frozen fish during 2018. 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. Chile: US$1.82 billion (net export surplus up 7.4% since 2014)
  2. Russia: $1.79 billion (up 106.5%)
  3. Norway: $1.28 billion (down -26.0%)
  4. United States: $1.28 billion (down -12.9%)
  5. Taiwan: $942.8 million (up 11.8%)
  6. India: $689.8 million (down -1.4%)
  7. Greenland: $467.5 million (up 130.5%)
  8. Netherlands: $430.2 million (up 8.4%)
  9. Mauritania: $392.6 million (up 36.2%)
  10. Iceland: $386.1 million (down -16.7%)
  11. Faroe Islands: $290.0 million (up 15.4%)
  12. Pakistan: $285.8 million (up 58.2%)
  13. New Zealand: $272.1 million (down -10.8%)
  14. Papua New Guinea: $253.0 million (up 173.5%)
  15. Namibia: $249.9 million (down -36.9%)

Overtaking the United States in 2018, Chile garnered the highest surplus in the international trade of frozen fish. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Chile’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.


The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for frozen fish during 2018. 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$2.8 billion (net export deficit down -2.5% since 2014)
  2. Thailand: -$2 billion (up 25.7%)
  3. China: -$1.7 billion (up 69.6%)
  4. South Korea: -$727.2 million (up 40.7%)
  5. Vietnam: -$655.5 million (up 321.9%)
  6. Nigeria: -$543.9 million (down -36.6%)
  7. Ivory Coast: -$523.5 million (up 35.5%)
  8. Egypt: -$516.3 million (up 23%)
  9. Ukraine: -$350 million (down -8.7%)
  10. Italy: -$349.1 million (up 10.5%)
  11. Philippines: -$298.3 million (up 296.3%)
  12. Portugal: -$288.4 million (up 29.6%)
  13. Poland: -$273.6 million (up 29.4%)
  14. Ghana: -$192.4 million (no 2014 data)
  15. Malaysia: -$177.5 million (down -2.7%)

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.

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

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

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


Searchable List of Frozen Fish Exporting Countries in 2018

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

RankExporterFrozen Fish Exports (US$)%World Total
1.China$2.9 billion11.3%
2.Russia$2.6 billion10.1%
3.United States$2 billion8%
4.Chile$1.8 billion7.2%
5.Norway$1.4 billion5.3%
6.Taiwan$1.2 billion4.7%
7.Netherlands$1 billion4.1%
8.Spain$935.8 million3.7%
9.India$700.1 million2.8%
10.South Korea$681.6 million2.7%
11.Japan$624.1 million2.5%
12.Denmark$481.7 million1.9%
13.Greenland$468.1 million1.8%
14.Mauritania$392.6 million1.5%
15.Iceland$391.8 million1.5%
16.Indonesia$381.2 million1.5%
17.Canada$337.5 million1.3%
18.Vietnam$328.2 million1.3%
19.Faroe Islands$297.1 million1.2%
20.Pakistan$286.1 million1.1%
21.Morocco$284.7 million1.1%
22.New Zealand$280.8 million1.1%
23.Portugal$274.1 million1.1%
24.Namibia$270.2 million1.1%
25.Papua New Guinea$267.2 million1.1%
26.Seychelles$258.9 million1%
27.Argentina$222.2 million0.9%
28.France$203.8 million0.8%
29.Senegal$202.8 million0.8%
30.Germany$188 million0.7%
31.United Kingdom$169.2 million0.7%
32.Ireland$168.4 million0.7%
33.Hong Kong$137.7 million0.5%
34.South Africa$130 million0.5%
35.Singapore$128.4 million0.5%
36.Thailand$125.6 million0.5%
37.Australia$123.1 million0.5%
38.Kiribati$122.9 million0.5%
39.Micronesia$117.9 million0.5%
40.Mauritius$117.1 million0.5%
41.Fiji$108.9 million0.4%
42.Oman$107.5 million0.4%
43.Uruguay$106.1 million0.4%
44.Philippines$105.3 million0.4%
45.Mexico$103 million0.4%
46.Angola$99.8 million0.4%
47.Vanuatu$97.2 million0.4%
48.Brazil$96.9 million0.4%
49.Turkey$95.4 million0.4%
50.Ecuador$90.8 million0.4%
51.Sweden$86.4 million0.3%
52.Peru$78.5 million0.3%
53.Myanmar (Burma)$73.7 million0.3%
54.Marshall Islands$71 million0.3%
55.Malaysia$67.5 million0.3%
56.Maldives$62.8 million0.2%
57.Poland$52.2 million0.2%
58.Belgium$48.8 million0.2%
59.Panama$45.8 million0.2%
60.Guinea$45.4 million0.2%
61.Ghana$43.2 million0.2%
62.Estonia$42.8 million0.2%
63.Suriname$39.7 million0.2%
64.Solomon Islands$35.2 million0.1%
65.Sierra Leone$34.5 million0.1%
66.Lithuania$31.3 million0.1%
67.Tuvalu$28.7 million0.1%
68.Latvia$27.5 million0.1%
69.Curaçao$27.3 million0.1%
70.Venezuela$27.2 million0.1%
71.Guatemala$26.4 million0.1%
72.Kenya$25.4 million0.1%
73.Falkland Is (Malvinas)$24.4 million0.1%
74.Croatia$20.8 million0.1%
75.Bangladesh$19.9 million0.1%
76.Yemen$18.2 million0.1%
77.Cook Islands$16.3 million0.1%
78.Italy$15.7 million0.1%
79.Iran$13.5 million0.1%
80.Malta$13.1 million0.1%
81.Cabo Verde$12.8 million0.1%
82.Colombia$12.5 million0.05%
83.Greece$10.7 million0.04%
84.Guinea-Bissau$10 million0.04%
85.Belarus$9.6 million0.04%
86.Guyana$9.4 million0.04%
87.Kazakhstan$9.2 million0.04%
88.Finland$9.1 million0.04%
89.US Minor Outlying Is$7.4 million0.03%
90.United Arab Emirates$7.3 million0.03%
91.Somalia$7.1 million0.03%
92.French S./Antarctic Terr$6.3 million0.02%
93.Czech Republic$5.5 million0.02%
94.Zimbabwe$5.2 million0.02%
95.Madagascar$5.1 million0.02%
96.El Salvador$4.7 million0.02%
97.Saint Helena$4.3 million0.02%
98.Bulgaria$4.2 million0.02%
99.Br. Indian Ocean Terr$4.2 million0.02%
100.Ivory Coast$3.4 million0.01%
101.Austria$3.2 million0.01%
102.Nicaragua$3.1 million0.01%
103.Trinidad/Tobago$2.8 million0.01%
104.St Vincent/Grenadines$2.8 million0.01%
105.Tunisia$2.7 million0.01%
106.Albania$2.7 million0.01%
107.Tanzania$2.5 million0.01%
108.Sri Lanka$2.3 million0.01%
109.Lesotho$2.3 million0.01%
110.Saudi Arabia$2 million0.01%
111.Samoa$2 million0.01%
112.Libya$2 million0.01%
113.Slovenia$1.8 million0.01%
114.Costa Rica$1.6 million0.01%
115.Nauru$1.5 million0.01%
116.Ukraine$1.5 million0.01%
117.North Korea$1.4 million0.01%
118.Mozambique$1.4 million0.01%
119.Egypt$1.3 million0.01%
120.Jordan$1.3 million0.005%
121.Brunei Darussalam$1.2 million0.005%
122.North Macedonia$1.2 million0.005%
123.Slovakia$1.2 million0.005%
124.Romania$1.1 million0.004%
138.St. Pierre/Miquelon$340,0000.001%
140.New Caledonia$210,0000.001%
143.Dominican Republic$153,0000.001%
151.Equatorial Guinea$72,0000.0003%
157.French Polynesia$47,0000.0002%
160.Burkina Faso$28,0000.0001%
167.Turks/Caicos Islands$10,0000.00004%
172.Democr. Rep. Congo$3,0000.00001%
174.Syrian Arab Republic$2,0000.00001%
175.Cayman Islands$1,0000.000004%

See also Big Export Sales for Frozen Shrimps and Top Water and Ice Exporters

Research Sources:
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 30, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 30, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 30, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 30, 2019

Wikipedia, List of seafood companies. Accessed on May 31, 2018

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