Fresh salmon prices hit record high

Salmon prices are at a record high

THE price of fresh salmon in Norway has soared to a record 77 kroner a kilo over the past few days, according to the government organisation, Statistics Norway.

The figure is in complete contrast to the situation last summer when prices dropped close to production cost levels, due mainly to higher output from rival countries. At the time the industry was worried about a slump in fortunes, but it never materialised.

Nevertheless, a price level of NOK 77.04 per kilo in the week after Christmas, when demand is supposed to have cooled off, is not only remarkable but is the highest so far recorded.

Seafood analysts are predicting record profits for the salmon farming industry in 2020, which should also benefit operations in nearby countries such as Scotland and the Faroe Islands.

However, a similar situation was predicted this time last year, but few predicted the mid-summer prices slump waiting around the corner.

And if the current upward price trend continues, it is likely to strengthen demand from economists and politicians on the left in Norway to impose higher taxes on the industry.

Three months ago the government was presented with an official committee report recommending a 40 per cent flat rate tax on salmon farming companies, which brought stark warnings that such a move would drive future investment abroad.

Although still studying the report, Oslo is thought to be cool on the main recommendation. But politically it may become harder to resist if prices and profits soar this year.

The Norwegian Seafood Council is expected to publish the 2019 earnings figure later this week, but they passed the much heralded 100 billion kroner barrier at the end of November.