The big freeze: Holiday surge yet to show as prices remains stable entering December

by
Aslak Berge

SalmonBusiness has encountered unexpected stability in salmon prices, defying the usual uptick in demand seen during the holiday season.

“We’re not seeing the usual Christmas sales boost. There’s still a surplus of fish. The market’s just not picking up like it has in previous years. Processing is done; now, it’s usually retail’s turn to drive sales, but Christmas stock isn’t packaged until week 51,” one exporter told SalmonBusiness.

The same source anticipates consistent pricing for farmers, “We’re likely looking at the same rates as before, around NOK 80 (€6.88 / $7.44). For smaller sizes, 3-4 kg, it’s NOK 78 (€6.70 / $7.26), NOK 79 (€6.79 / $7.35) for 4-5 kg, and for 5-6 kg sizes, we’re seeing NOK 80 (€6.88 / $7.44), climbing to NOK 82-84 (€7.05-€7.22 / $7.63-$7.81) for the larger, 6+ kg. At NOK 80, that’s a strong price.”

Expectations are set for another week of market stability, both in terms of consistent harvest volumes and price achievement.

“The market is well-prepared, with ample product reserves. If prices rise, they’ll likely halt purchases, a trend we’ve rarely seen in recent months,” a market expert commented.

For next year, contracts are looking to exceed NOK 90 (€7.74 / $8.37), offering producers a potential profit of NOK 30 (€2.58 / $2.79) per kilo. “While the weak krone has been beneficial domestically, we’ve seen that prices in Europe remain consistent with last year’s,” the expert concluded.

The market is subdued with no significant activity, described by an exporter as “quiet and calm, lacking momentum. The upcoming holidays, including those in Spain, are slowing things down with no major price movements.”

Consensus among market players is uncommon, yet today they seem to align.

A buyer disclosed their recent purchases: “I’ve secured some at NOK 78 (€6.70 / $7.26) for 3-4 kg, NOK 79 (€6.79 / $7.35) for 4-5 kg, and NOK 80 (€6.88 / $7.44) for 5-6 kg sizes.”

A trader summarised the situation via text as “stable to negative,” while another simply listed “78-79-80 for 3-6,” indicating a uniform pricing structure across those salmon size ranges.

SalmonBusiness gathers spot prices for salmon every Friday after lunch. These prices are for fish to be delivered the following week, and they draw from a range of independent sources within the value chain, including farmers, exporters, and importers.

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