Weather hems in transports, salmon price retreats

Aslak Berge

Just as salmon-smokers ready Christmas orders, the fresh-fish
market takes over.

“There are good supplies of fish. There’s still unsold fish. The price picture we saw last Friday is being pressed,” a salmon trader tells SalmonBusiness.

The way blocked
He ventures an explanation for current market drivers: “The industry out there will quiet down after Monday and Tuesday’s processed fish. The fresh-fish market is uncertain because we feel a number of promotions will be going on all around, on the plus-side, but in the other direction, there’s a number of transports blocked at the mountain passes that are causing delays for customers out in Europe. That can delay their need for fish, and there might be flight cancellations that they won’t reach, and that means deals get cancelled and the fish (instead) ends up as available to the fresh-fish market.”

All that means these price levels for salmon farmers:

3 to 4 kilos, 4.6 euro
4 to 5 kilos, 4.7 euro
5 to 6 kilos, 4.8 euro
6-plus kilos, 4.6 euro to 4.7 euro

Big delays
“Especially in the north (of Norway), there’s very good access to fish of high average weight, between six and six-and-a-half kilos. It’ll be a absurdly exciting pre-Christmas week, and (hurricane-like) Aina has made the overall picture even muddier. A lot of things are creating uncertainty for an otherwise good Christmas sale,” he summarized.

Among the collection of market players SalmonBusiness talked to after lunch today, the prevailing image is of hard-pressed logistics.

“A lot of fish arriving at airports too late (to make international flights). And that’s fish that’ll end up resold. It’s fish from the north that’ll be driven down to Amsterdam, Oslo or other places. There are delays over the whole line. And prices are falling, an exporter says.

“We’re hearing 45 to 46 kroner, and it’s quiet out. It’s just continuing downward, he says, adding that the market is “chaotic”.


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