Prices crash as supply of superior-quality fish increases

Aslak Berge

The market for low-quality fish has dried up.

“NOK 40($3.80/€3.52) in two weeks. We’re talking about NOK 85 ($8.08/€7.48) next week, and there has been fish sold for as low as NOK 75 ($7.13/€6.60) this week,” a frustrated buyer told SalmonBusiness.

Salmon prices have plummeted from their peak in early May.

“It’s damn difficult, really. We’re buying fish and losing NOK 20 ($1.90/€1.76) a week. This is the second week in a row. And it’s not fun. It’s clearly dramatic – for us and everyone involved. It’s heavy stuff.”


A significant part of the price drop can be attributed to the quality of the fish. Smaller fish with winter sores and injuries, and more top-quality fish.

“Prices are between NOK 80 and 90 ($7.60-$8.55/€7.04-€7.92) for three to six kilos. It’s totally chaotic. It’s impossible to get anything done. There’s much more superior and ordinary now, so ‘prodfisk’ is out.”

‘Prodfisk,’ or production fish, is the lowest quality fish, with sores and injuries, which must be corrected before export. An increased share of superior fish means an increased supply of fish for the export market.

The price picture is echoed by all sources after lunch on Friday.


“Uncertain. We haven’t sold anything,” says a fish farmer, referring to prices between NOK 85 and 95 ($8.08-$9.03/€7.48-€8.36).

“I expect prices to go back up to the 90s again. It’s strange if this doesn’t correct itself,” agrees another fish farmer.

“We’re getting offers of NOK 83, 85, and 87 ($7.89, $8.08, and $8.27/€7.30, €7.48, and €7.66). But we haven’t bought anything,” says a trader.

“I’m hearing prices in the 80s,” says an exporter.

This means a decline of over 30 percent in just two quick weeks.

“It’s not surprising. We’re starting to get normal fish. Then there will be a period of a quiet market. It fluctuates. It’s not normal for the spot price to be 120 kroner ($11.40/€10.56),” he chuckles.

“So it will fluctuate throughout the year. There’s no momentum in the market,” he adds.

SalmonBusiness gathers spot prices for salmon every Friday after lunch, tracking fish to be delivered the following week. This process involves contacting multiple entities in the value chain, including farmers, exporters, and importers. At least five independent sources are consulted, though they may not always be publicly disclosed.


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