Frozen Fish Exports by Country

Frozen Fish Exports by Country

Frozen fish exports improve

Whole frozen fish represents big business, given that worldwide sales from frozen fish exports by country totaled US$23.7 billion in 2017.

Overall, the value of frozen fish exports rose by an average 2.2% for all exporting countries since 2013 when frozen fish shipments were valued at $23.2 billion. Year over year, there was an uptick in the value of global frozen fish exports appreciating by 8.8% from 2016 to 2017.

Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar value worth of frozen fish exports during 2017 with shipments amounting to $8 billion or about a third (33.7%) of the global total. Close behind in second place was Asia at 32.5% followed by North American exporters via their 11.2% share of frozen fish international sales.

Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean generated a 10% share, followed by 5.9% for Africa then 4.8% for Oceania nations 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 2017:

  1. China: US$2.7 billion (11.6% of exported frozen fish)
  2. United States: $2.3 billion (9.6%)
  3. Russia: $2.1 billion (8.7%)
  4. Chile: $1.5 billion (6.5%)
  5. Norway: $1.5 billion (6.2%)
  6. Taiwan: $1.1 billion (4.7%)
  7. Netherlands: $1 billion (4.4%)
  8. Spain: $909.5 million (3.8%)
  9. South Korea: $668.8 million (2.8%)
  10. India: $581.1 million (2.5%)
  11. Japan: $527.8 million (2.2%)
  12. Denmark: $474.9 million (2%)
  13. Indonesia: $471.4 million (2%)
  14. Greenland: $383.6 million (1.6%)
  15. Faroe Islands: $363.9 million (1.5%)

The listed 15 countries shipped well over two-thirds (70.1%) of global exports in 2017 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing frozen fish exporters since 2013 were: Greenland (up 197.6%), Denmark (up 47.1%), Netherlands (up 40%) and Faroe Islands (up 18.8%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported frozen fish sales were led by: India (down -22.4%), South Korea (down -17.5%), Norway (down -11.6%), Spain (down -10.1%) and Japan (down -5.1%).


The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for frozen fish during 2017. 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. United States: US$1.6 billion (net export surplus up 5.5% since 2013)
  2. Chile: $1.5 billion (up 12.7%)
  3. Norway: $1.4 billion (down -13.6%)
  4. Russia: $1.3 billion (up 26%)
  5. Taiwan: $897.9 million (down -0.6%)
  6. India: $572.7 million (down -23.3%)
  7. Netherlands: $412 million (up 29%)
  8. Greenland: $383 million (up 198.7%)
  9. Faroe Islands: $356.6 million (up 18.6%)
  10. Iceland: $348.4 million (down -32.2%)
  11. Indonesia: $316.4 million (down -4.5%)
  12. New Zealand: $291 million (down -6.9%)
  13. Pakistan: $266.8 million (up 53.6%)
  14. Papua New Guinea: $254.4 million (up 202.7%)
  15. Namibia: $251.2 million (down -48.1%)

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


The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for frozen fish during 2017. 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$2.9 billion (net export deficit up 12.8% since 2013)
  2. Thailand: -$1.9 billion (down -11%)
  3. Vietnam: -$1.1 billion (up 856.9%)
  4. China: -$979 million (up 0.5%)
  5. South Korea: -$705.7 million (up 89.6%)
  6. Nigeria: -$533.7 million (down -39%)
  7. Egypt: -$442.8 million (up 239.5%)
  8. Italy: -$322.9 million (up 0.8%)
  9. Portugal: -$299.2 million (up 21.2%)
  10. Ukraine: -$294.5 million (down -47.6%)
  11. Philippines: -$276.9 million (up 353%)
  12. Poland: -$238.6 million (up 33.5%)
  13. Côte d’Ivoire: -$197.8 million (down -44.1%)
  14. Malaysia: -$172.5 million (down -10.8%)
  15. Hong Kong: -$151.7 million (up 17.8%)

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

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

RankExporter2017 Frozen Fish Exports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$2.7 billion11.6%
2.United States$2.3 billion9.6%
3.Russia$2.1 billion8.7%
4.Chile$1.5 billion6.5%
5.Norway$1.5 billion6.2%
6.Taiwan$1.1 billion4.7%
7.Netherlands$1 billion4.4%
8.Spain$909.5 million3.8%
9.South Korea$668.8 million2.8%
10.India$581.1 million2.5%
11.Japan$527.8 million2.2%
12.Denmark$474.9 million2%
13.Indonesia$471.4 million2%
14.Greenland$383.6 million1.6%
15.Faroe Islands$363.9 million1.5%
16.Iceland$359.6 million1.5%
17.Vietnam$345.7 million1.5%
18.Canada$317.7 million1.3%
19.New Zealand$306.7 million1.3%
20.Pakistan$267.4 million1.1%
21.Namibia$266.6 million1.1%
22.Papua New Guinea$260.9 million1.1%
23.Mauritania$247.1 million1%
24.Morocco$241.8 million1%
25.Portugal$237.4 million1%
26.Argentina$226.7 million1%
27.France$216.9 million0.9%
28.United Kingdom$178.6 million0.8%
29.Seychelles$177.3 million0.7%
30.Ireland$165.4 million0.7%
31.Germany$161 million0.7%
32.Thailand$156.5 million0.7%
33.Senegal$140 million0.6%
34.Kiribati$139.8 million0.6%
35.Myanmar (Burma)$120.3 million0.5%
36.South Africa$116.4 million0.5%
37.Panama$116.1 million0.5%
38.Hong Kong$115.4 million0.5%
39.Philippines$110.6 million0.5%
40.Australia$106 million0.4%
41.Peru$98.5 million0.4%
42.Uruguay$92.7 million0.4%
43.Micronesia$91.8 million0.4%
44.Singapore$90.1 million0.4%
45.Vanuatu$88.5 million0.4%
46.Brazil$87.1 million0.4%
47.Maldives$85.5 million0.4%
48.Ecuador$83.3 million0.4%
49.Sri Lanka$71.6 million0.3%
50.Turkey$70.9 million0.3%
51.Sweden$70.4 million0.3%
52.Malaysia$68.6 million0.3%
53.Mexico$63.1 million0.3%
54.Belgium$50.9 million0.2%
55.Marshall Islands$47 million0.2%
56.Poland$45.9 million0.2%
57.Guinea$37.1 million0.2%
58.Estonia$36.3 million0.2%
59.Malta$35.7 million0.2%
60.Solomon Islands$34.6 million0.1%
61.Curaçao$29.5 million0.1%
62.Fiji$27.4 million0.1%
63.Latvia$26.9 million0.1%
64.Bangladesh$25.8 million0.1%
65.Mauritius$21.4 million0.1%
66.Ghana$20.3 million0.1%
67.Cabo Verde$20.2 million0.1%
68.Yemen$20.0 million0.1%
69.Cook Islands$19.9 million0.1%
70.Venezuela$19.6 million0.1%
71.United Arab Emirates$18.6 million0.1%
72.Guyana$18.5 million0.1%
73.Falkland Is (Malvinas)$18.4 million0.1%
74.Lithuania$18.1 million0.1%
75.Croatia$16.6 million0.1%
76.Italy$15.4 million0.1%
77.Angola$14.4 million0.1%
78.Sierra Leone$13.2 million0.1%
79.Nicaragua$13.1 million0.1%
80.Samoa$12.3 million0.1%
81.Oman$11.5 million0.05%
82.El Salvador$11.1 million0.05%
83.Finland$10.9 million0.05%
84.Côte d'Ivoire$10.2 million0.04%
85.Kazakhstan$10.1 million0.04%
86.Greece$9.6 million0.04%
87.Colombia$9.4 million0.04%
88.Iran$8.8 million0.04%
89.Tanzania$8.3 million0.04%
90.Trinidad/Tobago$7.7 million0.03%
91.Madagascar$7.4 million0.03%
92.Tuvalu$7.1 million0.03%
93.French S./Antarctic Terr$6.8 million0.03%
94.Czech Republic$5.9 million0.02%
95.Zimbabwe$5.9 million0.02%
96.Austria$5.8 million0.02%
97.St Vincent/Grenadines$5 million0.02%
98.Somalia$4.9 million0.02%
99.Br. Indian Ocean Terr$4.9 million0.02%
100.Gambia$4.7 million0.02%
101.US Minor Outlying Is$4.6 million0.02%
102.Saint Helena$4.3 million0.02%
103.Tunisia$3.5 million0.01%
104.Bulgaria$3.4 million0.01%
105.Saudi Arabia$3.2 million0.01%
106.Kenya$2.7 million0.01%
107.Georgia$2.4 million0.01%
108.Mozambique$1.8 million0.01%
109.Jordan$1.8 million0.01%
110.Costa Rica$1.7 million0.01%
111.Romania$1.7 million0.01%
112.Belarus$1.7 million0.01%
113.Guinea-Bissau$1.6 million0.01%
114.Lesotho$1.6 million0.01%
115.Albania$1.4 million0.01%
116.Libya$1.2 million0.01%
117.Bahrain$1.1 million0.005%
118.North Korea$1.1 million0.005%
119.Ukraine$1.1 million0.005%
120.Zambia$1 million0.004%
142.St. Pierre/Miquelon$214,0000.001%
147.Brunei Darussalam$126,0000.001%
156.British Virgin Is$30,0000.0001%
157.French Polynesia$24,0000.0001%
160.Wallis/Futuna Is$16,0000.0001%
161.Turks/Caicos Is$12,0000.0001%
164.Dominican Republic$4,0000.00002%
166.Saint Lucia$2,0000.00001%

See also China’s Top Trading Partners and China’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 31, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 31, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 31, 2018

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