Shortage of air freight capacity is pushing a lot of big salmon into the European market

Salmon prices are under pressure. In the absence of air cargo capacity and normal demand from overseas markets, large salmon are placed in the well-supplied European market.

“We are talking down three kroner (EUR 0.3) – at least,” said a trader about the salmon price for the coming week.[factbox]

He noted that there are high export volumes at the moment – and a lot of fish to sell.

“There are more fish in the sea, and then there were some who pushed over [harvesting of] fish from last year. We now harvest 20G (2020 generation – ed. note) which is 4.5 kg gutted weight,” he said.

“The customers have all the power. As soon as one pushes the price up, they stop buying. We no longer have the power to influence,” he said, and referred to (farmgate) prices between NOK 38 (EUR 3.6) and 40 (EUR 3.8) for large salmon, over six kilos.

“3-6 kg is at 41 kroner (EUR 3.9),” he continued.

Another exporter refers to NOK 39-41 (EUR 3.7-3.9) for 3-6 kg salmon.

“Europe is an Achilles’ heel. There are large volumes, still a lot of big fish, and Europe is not known for being aggressive in buying big fish. The air cargo market is limited.”

“40-42 kroner (EUR 3.8-4.0) for 3-6 kg and 38-39 kroner (EUR 3.6-3.7) for the larger one. I would say that,” said a third exporter.

“It can quickly get lower throughout the week. It is very tough now,” he added.

This means a price level below production cost levels for many fish farmers. Mowi recently reported a break-even production cost of EUR 4.28 per kilo.

Other sources point to somewhat higher salmon prices than those mentioned above.

«42-44 kroner (EUR 4.0-4.2)”, wrote a trader in an SMS to iLaks.

“44 kroner (EUR 4.2) for 3+ kg, I hear,” said a fish farmer.


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