The salmon price falls back: “The big Christmas rush should have been in full swing now, but they are careful”

After a brief rise last Friday, possibly fueled by hopes for a new vaccine against Covid-19, the salmon price falls back to the level two weeks ago.

“There are far too much big fish. And that’s where it’s (currently) not a huge market. At least the prices are down today. I hear the big fish, 6+ kg, catch less than 3-6 kg,” said an importer. [factbox]

He has seen the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries’ recent biomass statistics, which show a significant increase in inventories in the sea during October.

“They (the salmon farmers – ed. note) can not leave the fish in the sea, they have to get it out. Everyone knows there is a large frozen inventory in Europe. And then comes the Chile inventory in addition to that,” he pointed out.

Volume increase
Others share an impression of a price reduction of EUR 0.3-0.4 from last Friday.

“There are some fish left. We can only hope we do not get too much volume increase. The market is probably back at the level it was at last week,” said an exporter.

“The market is quiet. Both in Norway and abroad. The big Christmas rush should have been in full swing now, but they are careful. They (the buyers – ed. note) are not building an inventory now until Christmas. It will probably be a little more controlled than it used to be,” he said, and called the situation “challenging”.

At the same time, the salmon is growing fatter in the sea.

“It’s not cold. There are good conditions for growth. The fish grows fast – and it grows big. There will be an imbalance.”

Heavy for big salmon
The market for large salmon, dominated by air freight to the Far East, is described by several players as “demanding”.

“People try to sell 6+ packed today at 39 kroner (EUR 3.7) FCA farmer and do not get sales,” said a trader, and referred to prices of NOK 41-42 (EUR 3.9-4.0) for next week.

“Air freight is challenging. And freight rates are rising, since other goods are coming in paying better than fish,” said another.

SalmonBusiness’ industrial sources refer to the following farmgate salmon prices for fish to be delivered in the coming week:

  • 3-6 kg NOK 40-42.50 (EUR 3.8-4.2)
  • 6+ kg NOK 38-42 (EUR 3.6-4.2)