‘Total collapse’: Glut of ‘production fish’ sees prices tumble across the board

Aslak Berge

There is little salmon of superior quality available.

“Every size of unsold salmon from this week is incurring a loss of about ten kroner. Customers are getting offers significantly lower than last Friday for sizes 2-5 kilos. I think prices for 2-5 need to go down. 5+ needs to go down a lot. The gap between sizes is narrowing,” an exporter told SalmonBusiness.

“Deep fall, as I see it. We’ve bought at NOK 90 ($8.46/€7.83), 101 ($9.49/€8.77), 105 ($9.87/€9.14), 109 ($10.25/€9.48), and 114 kroner ($10.72/€9.92) – for sizes from 2-3 and up to 6+,” another said.

“Prices are 105-110 kroner ($9.87-$10.34/€9.14-€9.57) for 3-4 and 110-115 kroner ($10.34-$10.81/€9.57-€10.00) for 4-5. 115 kroner ($10.81/€10.00) for 5+. The 6+ size has really plummeted this week. Prices are getting flatter, which is usual for this time of year. There’s a slight drop for 3-4 and 4-5. 6+ has fallen by 20 kroner,” a third exporter noted.

“There are not major changes for 3-4 and 4-5, but 5+ is plummeting. It’s terribly hard to sell. And it’s the same for all kinds of fish. Fish is expensive,” he said.

“Total collapse. There’s fish left over from Monday. As bad as week 2. 6+ fell from 135 to 115 kroner ($12.69-$10.81/€11.74-€10.00). There’s almost no demand for superior; they’re buying ‘production fish’ instead,” a trader said.

Production fish, or ‘prodfisk,’ are fish with visible wounds and damage, which need to be corrected (usually filleted) before export.

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Given the market conditions, he’s only willing to pay the following purchase prices:

“For 3-4 kg a maximum of 100 kroner ($9.40/€8.70), for 4-5 kg 105 kroner ($9.87/€9.14) and for 5-6 kg 110 kroner ($10.34/€10.00). Prices need to drop to make a profit. But whether you can achieve that, I can’t say. Otherwise, it’s better not to bother.”

“There’s a lot of whole ‘prodfish’ going into the market – plus fish from ‘Gannet.’ I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a quiet market,” he said.

Hav Line-owned processing vessel the “Norwegian Gannet” was granted a 10-year dispensation allowing it to work with fish outside Norway’s fish quality regulations in 2021.

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A farmer sees somewhat higher prices:

“There’s a lot of variation in the field. We’re seeing, for 3-4 kg NOK 107 ($10.06/€9.31), for 4-5 kg 118-120 kroner ($11.09-$11.28/€10.26-€10.44), and for 5-6 kg 126-130 kroner ($11.85-$12.22/€10.97-€11.34). I read in the newspaper that there’s another month of falling feed sales and average weights down – and they usually go hand in hand.”

He also notes a significant presence of ‘prodfisk.’

“One of our best customers in France is buying c-trimmed fillet (based on ‘prodfisk’) for 11.50 euros. There’s so much fillet that it leads a life of its own,” he points out.

SalmonBusiness gathers spot prices for salmon every Friday after lunch, tracking fish to be delivered the following week. This process involves contacting multiple sources up and down the value chain, including farmers, exporters, and importers. At least five independent sources are consulted, though they may not always be publicly disclosed.


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