Festive season triggers surge in salmon prices

Aslak Berge

Price hike looms as Christmas approaches. 

“Throughout this week, prices have been on the rise. Yesterday, we experienced a sharp change in currency values, but still, the prices have increased from last week. I don’t have the exact figures yet, but from what I hear from customers, we’re looking at purchasing prices around 80, 81, and 82 NOK (€6.96, €7.05, and €7.13; $7.68, $7.78, and $7.87) for salmon weighing between 3-6 kilograms,” an exporter told SalmonBusiness.

“The market is short on larger fish,” he continued, recalling that he bought salmon at 77.50 to 79.50 NOK (€6.74 and €6.92; $7.44 and $7.63) last Friday.

Currency Factors

“Talks of a price increase are ongoing, even though the currency has weakened. Yet, customers remain cautious. It seems like everyone’s living in their own bubble, not acknowledging that the currency’s devaluation is almost five kroner,” said another exporter.

“We’re currently only buying what we’ve already sold for next week. Our customer base isn’t that large. There’s a lack of momentum in the fresh market, unlike what we’re used to. We’re all eyeing next week. Week 51 is always a bit of a gamble.”

It seems evident that a price hike is on the horizon.

“There’s a definite scarcity of larger fish. Prices for 6+ kilogram fish are set to go up, particularly those shipped by air. That’s quite apparent. Apart from that, the market appears relatively stable,” he stated, highlighting the following prices to breeders:

  • 3-4 kg at 80 NOK (€6.96; $7.68)
  • 4-5 kg at 82 NOK (€7.13; $7.87)
  • 5-6 kg at 85-86 NOK (€7.40 – €7.48; $8.16 – $8.26)
  • 6+ kg at 95-100 NOK (€8.27 – €8.70; $9.12 – $9.60)

Busy harvesting week ahead

Every source SalmonBusiness spoke with post-lunch on Friday reported rising salmon prices.

“The upcoming Christmas week is full of uncertainties, the currency has dropped, but the prices being discussed are within our operating range. Having a full harvesting week this close to Christmas is unusual, and we have to cater to both domestic and international markets,” explained one purchaser.

He emphasized that currency fluctuations are the biggest variable, particularly after an unexpected interest rate hike by Norges Bank on Thursday, leading to a stronger krone.

Fresh Market Dynamics

One breeder pointed out even higher prices, albeit on smaller volumes of sales:

“We’re seeing 86, 88, and 90 NOK (€7.48, €7.65, and €7.83; $8.26, $8.45, and $8.64). Air-freighted salmon, especially to Asia, is fetching around 95 NOK (€8.27; $9.12),” one seller observed.

“This aligns with our internal discussions earlier this week, predicting prices moving towards the higher end of the 80s. But we didn’t expect it to happen this soon,” he added.

He noted the market hasn’t had much salmon in recent weeks but highlighted that it’s the fresh market, not the processing sector, driving current demand.

“Salmon prices have been unusually steady, even in euros, for several months. I believe we should be content with how this autumn, and the year as a whole, has turned out,” he concluded.

SalmonBusiness collects salmon spot prices every Friday post-lunch, focusing on fish scheduled for delivery the subsequent week. The process involves speaking to people at all levels of the supply chain, including producers, exporters, and importers. We always consult a minimum of five independent sources, though not all may be quoted in our report. Our sources vary, and we avoid relying on the same ones repeatedly.


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