Salmon processors’ stockpiling softening pre-christmas trade

Aslak Berge

Refrain from buying if spot price becomes too high.

For six consecutive weeks, the export volume of farmed salmon has been lower than the same period last year, according to export statistics from the Norwegian Seafood Council.

SalmonBusiness has consistantly reported on customer who stockpiled early in the autumn, as a challenge for this year’s pre-Christmas trade. Salmon buyers in HORECA (hotel, restaurant and catering), processing and groceries seem to have prepared themselves well.

Stock building
November and the first half of December are the year’s busiest for harvesting, packing, exporting, as well as consuming salmon.

Last year there was widespread stockpiling late in autumn. But purchases in autumn of this year have been calmer than in the case last year.

“Increased harvesting has been announced throughout the weekend. The smokers are provided, and then the fresh market must pull. But there are little promotions. There are large stocks that lie and push,” an exporter said to SalmonBusiness last Friday.

Stockpiling has provided flexibility to processors but also the opportunity to say no to increasing purchase prices, and both this year and last year they have escaped the usual price leap before Christmas.

Higher price
Part of the explanation behind lower purchases is probably down to the fact that the price of salmon as last week was exactly EUR 0.7, up 14.4 percent, higher than the same period last year.

Even though the salmon price has remained higher than the case last autumn, the price level has remained relatively even. It has traded between five and six euros per kilo since early summer.

In total, Norway has exported 1,098,349 tonnes of salmon this year. That’s 56,425 tonnes, up 5.4%, more than in the same time last year.