Norway year end salmon prices back over NOK 100 a kilo

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The export price for fresh Norwegian salmon surged to more than NOK 100 per kilo during the final week of last year.

Figures from Statistics Norway show there was a sharp increase between Christmas and New Year when, normally, demand for seafood tends to start slowing down as the festive season draws to a close.

It may be too early to tell if this is the start of a new upward trend or just a late salmon buying spree, but it will have come as welcome news to an industry facing higher costs and tax bills this year.

The average figure for week 52 was NOK 100.70 per kilo (£7.70), up from NOK 91.03 per kilo (£6.96) the previous week when demand is normally at its peak.

The last time fresh salmon prices hit the NOK 100 barrier was at the beginning of June last year. They then hit a lengthy sluggish patch through the summer, dropping to around NOK 75 per kilo in early September before starting to recover.

Because transport is normally restricted over the Christmas to New Year period, the export volume was well down at 10,440 tonnes against 24,551 tonnes two weeks previously.

Seafood exports this year have benefitted from a weak Norwegian kroner, especially against the US dollar and euro but the currency is starting to increase again following an interest rate rise, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks.

There is likely to be less Norwegian salmon available during the coming year due to various biological issues, including increased numbers of jellyfish.

Poland, the largest Norwegian salmon processing country and a major provider for European retail outlets, has reduced its purchasing recently.

The all-important US market, however, remains robust and demand from China is growing.

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