Asia’s Golden Week brings price reductions on big salmon

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However, smaller and medium-sized salmon will see stable prices next week.

“There was a price increase last Friday that was well received on both Monday and Tuesday. Some tried even higher, but from Wednesday onwards it has been Golden Week in Asia, a big celebration, which means less interest in the airfreight market. This, plus Canada selling a lot of large salmon to the United States, means that there is a lot of fish left so there’s a heavy contraction in prices,” a salmon exporter told Salmon Business. 

Facts

Salmon Business collects spot prices for salmon every Friday after lunch. These are fish to be delivered the following week. Here we contact several members of the value chain, including fish farmers, exporters and importers. We always have at least five independent sources, although not all sources are necessarily displayed on print. We vary which sources we use, and do not use the same sources each time.

“Most suppliers have been trying to agree on the same price as last Friday at 2-5 kilograms. But the market is characterized by an increasing supply of 5+ and 6+, which makes these prices sharply declining.”

“If the price comes down, the industry will probably be flexible enough to buy more fish at 3-6, maybe even 3-7 [kilos]. And now there is so much fish about that one needs more sales channels than the airfreight market,” he added.

Salmon Business’ industrial sources outlined the following farm-gate price levels for next week:

    • 3-4 kilos NOK 50-51
    • 4-5 kilos NOK 52-53
    • 5+ kilos NOK 53-56

A purchaser at a smokehouse on the European continent confirmed a price tag with a stable price for 2-5 kilograms and falling prices on larger sizes.

“It’s is probably because of Golden Week in Asia. I have heard about that price level, but I have not received any specific offers. Yesterday it was agreed that the price should go up, but then there will be some fish volumes anyway.”

How much flexibility do you have to take bigger fish than 3-6 kilograms in your processing plants?

“All machines are made for 3-6. Some processors are able to alter the machines to take 6-7. But you get a poorer yield. It is the machinery that does it. 7+ you have to cut by hand, but then it starts to be coarse meat that Europe is not used to.”

The trend towards an increased range of heavier weight classes is confirmed by several independent sources.

“That sounds reasonable. But farmers want more at 2-5. About stable and down to 5+.”

That the sales of large salmon have fallen back is no doubt.

“Yes, that’s for sure.”

“There are a lot of 5+ unsold today,” another trader said. “Prices are ranging downwards and will come down to the same price as the rest, NOK 50-54. Everybody is sitting with 5+ and do not know what to do with them. I’m pretty sure prices will be much the same next week as well.”