New “unchartered territory” coronavirus fears shakes salmon markets: “Can be very challenging for the aquaculture industry”

Aslak Berge

The danger is not over yet.

On Friday, SalmonBusiness reported that the salmon price fell NOK 8-10 after China halted shipments of airborne salmon exports to Beijing after fears of coronavirus flared up again.

The Norwegian Krone weakened on Monday, and is now trading at 9.76 and 10.97 against the US dollar and EUR respectively.

At the same time, salmon shares dropped on the Oslo stock exchange.

The first half hour of stock trading on Monday morning sent SalMar down 7.8 per cent, Grieg Seafood down 6.1 per cent, Mowi down 5.6 per cent, Bakkafrost down 5.6 per cent and Lerøy down 3.3 per cent.

Carnegie analyst Lars Konrad Johnsen is among those who fear the coronavirus discovery in salmon in Beijing could have major negative consequences going forward putting the industry in “unchartered territory.”

“Undoubtably prices will come under pressure as volumes need to be redirected from China over the coming week with demand from other countries highly uncertain. In the event of a confirmed transmission from imported salmon, the consumer perception of the salmon will likely take years to regain, with historical supply/demand dynamics of limited value in forecasting future salmon prices. Add on the potential political context to the story with no products/countries wanted to be seen as the source of origin for a second wave of the Coivd-19 outbreak, and this look like something that could be really challenging for the fish farming industry,” he wrote in a customer bulletin.

Johnsen further writes that he “would not be surprised if the fish farming sector trade down by double digit percentage figures (versus close Friday) over the coming days/weeks.”


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