Salmon price swims sideways

Aslak Berge

Only bad weather on the coast halts further fall

“My tip is sideways,” the buyer at a salmon smoker said, talking about next week’s salmon price.

“It’s a little quiet. Not the pressure there was last Friday,” he adds. He said he sees prices between 42 and 43 kroner a kilogram for fish over 3 kg. That’s in-line with last Friday.

Deep fall
And with that, the salmon price has fallen about 30 kroner since the middle of May. This has happened without processed volumes showing a significant rise, something that suggests the explanation behind the price fall lies on the demand side.

“We’re not buying dramatically more fish even though the price has come down, so it’s slow out in the market in Europe. Much of the explanation we see now is that the price reduction hasn’t made it out to consumers. So, now the distribution industry will earn back its money, but that doesn’t mean consumption will come up,” he said.

“Stable, a little down maybe,” an East European trader said about the spot price. He points to prices of 42-kroner for fish of from 5 kg to 7 kg and 43 kroner for fish between 3 kg and 5 kg, before adding price levels haven’t been quite decided yet.

“They have limited capacity for how much they can take. There’s rough weather along the coast. Yet, the price isn’t rising, just down or stable. Transports are stuck somewhere near the packers.”

A picture of stable prices is the prevailing understanding today.

“It’s actually stable but down, around 42 kroner. You’re sure to get fish between 40 and 42 kroner too. It’s been a long time since the supply side has had to wait so long for a price determination,” an exporter said.

“You can get prices at 4.60 or 4.90 euro out in the market. It comes down to the right distribution. None of our customers see this as a temporary price window, open for a limited time, but that it’s going to hang around. The final price determination will come out by the afternoon.

“Access is good, the market isn’t afraid that the window will close shut. They sit around awhile before they conclude on buy or sell,” he summarized.

“For some time there’s been uncertainty about the entry of fish from Vietnam to China. If that changes, it’ll relieve demand for large fish,” he said, before expanding, “The border crossings are blocked. Chinese authorities have now and then done that, but as soon as they turn their backs around again, the Chinese market will be full of Vietnamese salmon of the Atlantic type. China’s roads are porous.

The weather
“It’s stable with negative indicators. If there hadn’t been some bad weather at the end (of the week), it would have been a crisis,” another exporter added.

Have you had any cancellation due to bad weather?

“Yes … heard about some that have, but we haven’t had any.”


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