Price jump in 2018

Aslak Berge

A tightening of sales volume ensures a jump in spot price for the new year

“We have had a week during which the processed amounts were noticeably down. That has created a good price for core sizes. We have also seen that some larger fish, air-freighted fish, have gone for very nice prices, especially to markets that celebrate New Year’s but not Christmas,” said an exporter referring to Asian markets.

“So, it looks like the holidays have been Holy Days. There’s been no processing on the holidays. Only a handful of businesses do that,” he added.

Price swings
So, Week 1 in 2018 offers salmon farmers these prices:

EUR 4.70 to EUR 4.80 for 2 to 3 kg
EUR 5.30 to EUR 5.40 for 3 to 4 kg
EUR 5.40 to EUR 5.50 for 4 to 5 kg
EUR 5.60 for 5 to 6 kg
EUR 5.70 to EUR 5.90 for 6 kg

“If I had one wish for the new year, it would be that the (price) Yo-yo’s string is shorter in 2018 that it was in 2017. The swings (in price) that we have had have been completely beyond reason, everything from the primary suppliers to the end customers.”

That price sadness is affirmed by a range of independent market figures: “It’s at that level, pretty quiet in the market. It just went empty of bigger fish, 4-plus (kg). That’s the pull. But, when you get to the end of the week and want to sell, there’s no guarantee it’ll happen easily,” one trader warned.

Since last Friday, the rise in price on the most traded weight classes is in the EUR 0.61 to EUR 0.71 range. That’s hefty.

“You markets haven’t seen these prices yet. I don’t see why so much has to through. There’s no draw on the market. There aren’t many calling for fish,” a “tired exporter” commented after a tough Christmas month.

Looking into the new year, what he wants is clear.

“I hope the price stabilizes at around NOK 50. We are not served by such low prices. We have too few contracts for next year. I hope contracted volumes rise. We need to tie more to contracts. When contracted shares grow, it’ll stabilize the market. Some good advice to fish farmers: Contract more. That’s my New Year’s wish — having more long-term trade. It’s completely necessary. Someone has to take responsibility.”


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