Salmon logistics stretched thin: “There is a lack of transport, feed and Styrofoam boxes”

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Record high exports stretch the supply links to the extreme. But the salmon price stays the same as last Friday.

“Stable to a little down,” said an importer about the salmon price for next week. “A little more on the big fish than other sizes. I hear 47 kroner (EUR 4.7) flat on larger sizes. I hear there is a lack of transport, feed and Styrofoam boxes.”

Facts

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

“Stable price from last week,” agreed a fish farmer, who pointed out that access to the Chinese market is particularly challenging, which puts pressure on the demand for the heaviest weight classes of salmon.

Crisis
But the focus of all of SalmonBusiness’ industrial sources on Friday is not the salmon price – the focus is on the transport.

“Transport is desperate. I do not think there is a carrier in all of Norway I have not been in contact with. It is a complete crisis,” said an exporter. “There are delays. There are very few trucks coming up to Norway with fruit and vegetables – and then a lot of salmon goes out. A difficult combination.”

He received support from a fish farmer:

“The north-south balance with 5-7,000 tonnes more salmon a week is noticeable. We have later loading time for some customers, we too. We have to pay for freight costs from Oslo, because with 90,000 people in Finnmark, it is not easy to have enough goods up north. I hear 1,000-1,300 euros more that way – plus what you have to pay for empty haul up from Oslo,” he said.

Trucks parked at the traffic junction Padborg, on the Danish-German border. Photo: Aslak Berge

Shortage
“There is a particular shortage of thermo transport [trucks]. And then there has been work on tracks on the railway in the north. But I hear there will be more fruit and vegetables from Spain next week. The carriers say they think it will get better,” he added.

For the price of salmon, he does not see much movement.

“I would say a slightly higher price. I hear 49, 50 and 51 kroner (EUR 4.9, 5.0 and 5.1) and 48, 49 and 50 kroner (EUR 4.8, 4.9 and 5.0). And Poland may be a krone (ten cent) below that. Relatively stable. In relation to the volume, it is good. The highest ever [export volume] – in mid-September. It looks very strong. Everything is not demand, it is building of inventory in several countries, which makes this look very nice later, in Q4,” he remarked.

“Stable to a krone up,” said a fish farmer. “We try at 49-50 kroner (EUR 4.9-5.0) at 3-4 kg, 50-51 kroner (EUR 5.0-5.1) at 4-5 kg, at 5-6 kg we see 51-52 kroner (EUR 5.1-5.2)- and then we have a couple of kroner up to 6+. What goes to Asian markets and the United States is a different price range. There it is 60 kroner (EUR 6.0). And if you are lucky enough to get a flight to China, you will get a lot more.”