Salmon prices start to nosedive

Norwegian salmon prices dropped sharply last week, according to the country’s statistics department.

A correction had been expected, but the drop seems to have been far steeper than most analysts were predicting.

Statistics Norway reports that fresh salmon prices in week 24 fell by 8.5% to NOK 100.75 per kilo (£7.37).

This is the lowest price since mid-February and NOK 20 down on what they were just two months ago.

The export total in week 24 was 17,359 tonnes, 940 tonnes or 5.1% lower than the previous week.

Frozen salmon exports, however, were up from 260 tonnes to 337 tonnes and the price also increased from NOK 94.03 to NOK 98.91 per kilo (£7.24).

Fresh salmon prices traditionally fall as high summer approaches when much of Europe takes off on holiday, so it is probably too early to know whether last week’s decline is part of that pattern, or something more is happening.

There is evidence that European consumers are beginning to turn away from salmon because of price inflation.

The decline in prices has also pulled down salmon company shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Further data also suggests that prices are likely to drop further this week with 4kg-5kg salmon down to around NOK 80 per kilo (£5.85).

While prices are still higher than at the start of the year, the situation is starting to worry salmon producers who have been enduring a sharp rise in feed and other costs since the beginning of the year.

The larger producers such as Mowi, Cermaq and SalMar are also facing higher tax bills thanks to Norway’s new 25% “ground rent” levy which will apply to fish farmers in coastal waters.

 

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