A queue of trailers has toppled salmon prices

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Salmon prices have sunk like a lead weight the last two months. Meanwhile Norwegian export volumes have skyrocketed.

Many salmon slaughter plants have been working double shifts in recent weeks. Last Friday one of SalmonBusiness’ price sources remarked that “all the packing stations (in Northern Norway) worked around the clock this last weekend”.

This indicates an extremely high level of activity.

Increased supply
In the last two months the price of salmon has dropped by a whole 35 percent. The fairly obvious explanation for the price reduction is that considerably more fish have been harvested and sold compared to the same period last year.

Source: Norwegian Seafood Council.

Export statistics obtained from Statistics Norway and the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) show that 16 percent more salmon has been exported from Norway in the last eight weeks relative to the same period in 2017.

Increased supply pressuring a drop in spot prices.

Remarkably high
This summer has been a scorcher. Slaughter and export volumes have been, and are still, remarkably high for this time of year. In Week 27 close to 24,000 tonnes of salmon were exported from Norway. This is export volume that one usually associates with the peak season in late autumn.

At the same time, slaughter volumes also need to be high in order to avoid salmon biomass growing excessively. A hot summer in the Northern Atlantc has so far provided salmon with favourable growing conditions. In May, 14 percent more fish feed sold than for the same month last year in Norway. If the feed trend continues, pressure on slaughtering will last over late summer and autumn.

That could result in attractive working conditions and prices for salmon buyers.