Christmas demand pushes up salmon prices

Salmon prices are rising in the run up to Christmas

SALMON prices have risen sharply over the past week, suggesting that the slump which hit the industry this summer may now be over.

According to Statistics Norway on Friday, the export price for fresh salmon was NOK 54.48 per kilo or £4.63 – an increase of 2.8 per cent on the previous week.

But in Scotland prices were even higher, ranging from £5.4 per kilo for medium fish to £6.4 or €7.5 for large fish.

And in Norway last week, 383 tonnes of frozen salmon were exported at an average price of NOK 58.95 or £5 a kilo.

The sector says that strong demand in the approach to Christmas is helping to drive up prices, but some of the factors which saw them fall close to production cost levels four months ago have now largely evaporated.

As a result of the prices drop, all the big companies recently posted a large third quarter decline in revenues and profits.

Lerøy Seafood, which announced disappointing results on Friday, said the price trend for Atlantic salmon has been weak throughout the third quarter.

This was partly driven by very high export volumes from Norway, but also due to relatively high volumes from the UK, meaning Scotland.

The group said it still felt that the underlying demand for both salmon and seafood in general was strong.

However, it also expected volatile, but satisfactory, market conditions to continue over the coming months.

Salmon companies are trying to guess what will happen to prices when the Christmas rush ends. Spare Bank 1 Markets in Norway said it believed prospects for 2020 were looking attractive.

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