Cautious buyers chill salmon price

Aslak Berge

Few fish circulate, but price stable

“Sixty-six to sixty-seven kroner (EUR 6.9 to 7.0) is what’s being talked about. That’s a little down, but no big movement,” a salmon exporter tells SalmonBusiness.

“There’s no desire on the part of customers to buy despite there being little fish available.”

Price levels are being nickel-and-dimed noticeably down by other market players.

“That’s what’s being said. The market is saying lower, but we haven’t done anything. It’s a drop of two to three kroner over this week. There’s little supply and customer interest is slight,” a trader says.

For now, a “wait-and-see” feeling reigns over the market:

“Customers would love to have 64 kroner (EUR 6.7), while salmon farmers conjure up 68 to 69 kroner (EUR 7.1 to 7.2),” the trader adds.

The market is being described as “quiet”: “We still haven’t had a single offer. The only thing we know, is that it’s going down,” the buyer at a salmon smoker says.

“Little fish is unsold. I have little faith in big (market) movement. The krone has strengthened a bit. That keeps the price out there where it is,” he adds.

The market picture for salmon prices next week is pretty unambiguous.

“It will go down a little. We’ve sold at a loss the whole week,” an exporter says.

“We bought at 68 kroner (EUR 7.1) for the fish farmer. According to the market, we have to get down to 65 kroner (EUR 6.8). I’ve bought some at 66 kroner (EUR 6.9) on average. A little lower on the 6-plus (kilogram fish size). I’ve paid 64 kroner (EUR 6.7). The 8-plus (size) is even less. No one wants it.

Big is bad
“The fillet market doesn’t want 8-plus. They have to hand-cut it. Asia’s a little stopped-up. We won’t hide the fact that a lot of 6-plus went to the Asia market. We have had it rough with the big fish this past week. It’s very touchy. These 10 transports to Vietnam are pressuring the market.

“Everyone’s a little nervous before the Brussels tradeshow. Prices have a tendency to sink down then,” he says, a reference to the seafood conference and tradeshow at the end of April

“But, things are still at fairy tale levels. We should just be happy for the salmon farmers,” the exporter adds.