Harvest stops in Northern Norway, ramping salmon price up by over €1 per kilo

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Algea bloom takes its toll with lack of fish especially in the heaviest weight classes.

“It’s price rise. A solid one too,” says a buyer to SalmonBusiness. “We are not getting harvests in the north. So then prices rise,” he added.

Northern Norway fish farmers have been hard hit by a toxic algae bloom recently, causing mortality of 13,500 tonnes salmon.

“It’s probably a very temporary matter, as I see it. The price is well up to ten kroner, I think.”

“It’s rising too fast. And if it rises too fast, it always goes down quickly. We’ll take it easy. We will not buy much fish. We’ll buy exactly what we need,” he said.

Jump
The price gap puts pressure on buyers.

“We can’t start stressing about this. One cannot sit and chase when the prices vary so much,” one of them said.

Facts

Every Friday after lunch, SalmonBusiness report spot prices for salmon. These are fish to be delivered the following week. Here we contact several links in the value chain, including salmon farmers, exporters and importers. We always have at least five independent sources, although not all sources are necessarily displayed in print. We vary the sources we use and do not use the same sources each time.

“There is a huge spread in prices. Next week is the last day off before Christmas. But we have not set any prices yet. We must spend the day negotiating,” says another trader.

SalmonBusiness’ six industrial sources report the following spot prices, for farmers, for delivery next week:

  • 3-4 kilograms NOK 65-68 (EUR 6.6 – 6.9)
  • 4-5 kilograms NOK 67-69 (EUR 6.8 – 7)
  • 5+ kilograms NOK 70-72 (EUR 7.1 – 7.3)

“I hear 68-71 kroner of three to six kilos,” says an Eastern European buyer. “But I have also heard even higher prices.”

Hefty
“It went crazy today, yes. There is not much fish to sell. That’s what the picture is for most people,” says a salesperson at a large salmon farmer.

“There have been huge volumes out in the last few weeks, and remember that there is low average weight, so there are many individuals. As soon as farmers see they have fish, they will feed on them a few kilos.”

“It is an extreme upswing when it goes 12-15 kroner in a few hours. We have sold for 72.50 kroner of 3-4, 75 kroner of 4-5 and 80 kroner of 5-6 – on ordinary trucks in Europe,” he adds.

“It is clear that when things go so much, someone may be tempted to take a little, and that will worsen the situation in the third quarter,” he points out.