Fresh salmon prices back up to near record levels

The notion that the rush of senior executives and sales staff to Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona would temporarily dampen salmon demand and prices has been roundly contradicted by the latest figures from Norway.

Statistics Norway, which monitors salmon prices on a regular basis, said the price of fresh salmon rose by over 6% in week 16 to a near record of NOK 120.57 per kilo (£9.11).

This figure is just short of the all time record high of NOK 122.88 (£9.28) set only five weeks earlier.

Demand too is up, rising by 5.2% to 16,060 tonnes in week 16. The increase is largely in anticipation of higher sales expected over the various public holidays in Europe next month.

Both frozen salmon  sales and prices remain fairly static. They were slightly down at 390 tonnes in week 16 while the average price was three kroner lower at NOK 95.03 per kilo (£7.18).

Fresh salmon prices are now around 34% higher than at the start of this year and have been rising at a more or less steady pace since the second week in January. But so too have production costs, as shown in recent 2023 first quarter updates from the salmon farming companies.

Nevertheless, the current situation will provide more ammunition for political and environmental groups in Norway who believe the salmon industry can afford to pay considerably more in tax.

Despite intensive lobbying by the industry and coastal salmon farming communities, the Labour – Centre Party coalition government says it is determined to push on with its planned controversial “ground rent” tax on salmon and trout farming.

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