Scarcity of harvested fish and continued high demand send the price level to historic highs.
“We have paid 106, 107 and 108 kroner (EUR 11.2-11.4) for Tuesday packing and 1.50 kroner (EUR 0.15) lower for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There is a slight increase,” says an exporter about the salmon price. “It has dried up this week. Simply too little fish,” he says.
“There will be no decline. A little uncertain on the final of the week, but probably the same level. Not much fish is available. Somewhere between 100 and 110 kroner (EUR 10.5-11.5), depending on size, location and availability. There is a lot of “prod fish” (low quality – ed. note) and relatively little that goes out to the market,” says another exporter to SalmonBusiness.
“It will last for a while. If not so high prices, then there will be quite high prices for some time to come.”
There is a common perception of a price increase.
“I would say it is two to four kroner up. I just talked to an exporter who had bought for 106-108 kroner (EUR 11.2-11.4) at 3+ kg in the north [of Norway],” says a fish farmer.
Others see minor movements.
“Not a huge change. But we are excited about further development, with a trade fair (in Barcelona – editor’s note) coming up. It may go up a bit. 102-105 kroner (EUR 10.7-11). It’s absolutely amazing, but we have to live with what is. There are few customers who sign up today. Many are on Easter vacation,” says a trader.
He points to several factors that drive prices as high as they are now:
“There is a lot of contract volume and low quantity. Everyone must obtain the fish sold on contract. There will be a fight for the little fish that is superior [quality]. That fight will last until June. There will be little fish in May as well, as it looks,” he says, before he apologizes for taking an incoming phone call from a farmer: “I have to talk to one of these kings.”
Also on the European continent, they notice the price increase for salmon.
“Today the price rises again here in Holland. I buy locally, do not use exporters or importers, and this morning I was offered 4-5 kg for 12.50 euros – up from 11.25 euros last Friday,” says a fish processor.
He adds that this includes shipping and fees to third parties. The cost of the raw material comes on top of much else.
“And then I have to fillet it, smoke it and cut portions. I have worked in the industry for 40 years and I have never seen anything like it. Customers no longer accept it. Why are prices so high? Who presses the buttons?” he asks resignedly.