Sluggish buyer-side sends salmon price downwards

Aslak Berge

Average price settles below 5.2 euro a kilogram

“I see 3-4 and 4-5 (kg fish sizes) at 47 to 48 kroner (EUR 4.9 to 5.0). Then you hop up, up two kroner for 5-6 and two kroner more for 6-7. It traded at that level both Wednesday and Thursday. The exporters have had something of a dull week, I believe,” the purchaser at a salmon smoker told SalmonBusiness.

“I believe they’re trying to set it at (that level), but I don’t believe many salmon farmers have sold at that level. I think it’ll end up there.”

“It’s quiet. I haven’t heard of a single purchase yet,” an exporter said.

SalmonBusiness’s five, different price sources — growers, exporters and importers — refer to the following prices for fish-farmers next week:

3 to 4 kg, EUR 4.8-4.9
4 to 5 kg, EUR 4.9-5.0
5 to 6 kg, EUR 5.0-5.3
6 to 9 kg, EUR 5.3-5.8

“Maybe, (6-plus-kg salmon) still a little more up. It’s Chinese New Year, so those with China-approved fish will be well-paid, and that will also take with it the others without (approval by Chinese inspectors). I will not be surprised by a large spike of between 2-5 and 5-plus (fish).

Heavy fall
That implies a heavy drop in prices since last Friday.

“But, it’s dead calm out there,” a trader said. Buyers are sitting on the fence and sellers want higher prices.

“It’s in that ballpark,” an exporter said about the price range above. “It’s Lotto to trade in salmon. In one or two minutes the price can be a kroner higher or a kroner lower. But, a drop in prices is on. Call it at about five kroner.

“So, you’re asking if all that red algae makes everyone who works in Norwegian salmon just itching to buy. It doesn’t. We live to close to the spot market for that,” he added.

“I have done some. Two trades,” a seller at a fish farm said. “They’ve been put aboard a plane to exporters. I haven’t done any 3-4 org 4-5 (size ranges),” he said, while pointing to prices of 51 kroner (EUR 5.3) for 5-6 kilo and 56-57 (EUR 5.8 to 5.9) for 6-plus kg.

One trader — currently vacationing in Spain and obviously not as glued to the market as usual — pointed to prices for salmon farmers of between 45 and 50 kroner (EUR 4.7 and 5.2).

“Salmon is the priciest fish I’ve been able to find here in the fish markets of Albir. EUR 19 — almost EUR 20 a kilo. I’m so happy I brought a few fillets from home. It means I can buy four bottles of wine at five euro (each).


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