In China, they eat civet cats. And these are carriers of the virus that are now creating increasing nervousness in many commodity markets.
According to Business Insider, the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the corona virus outbreak, has shut down all trade in live animals for human consumption. Food markets that have sold dogs, wolves and civet cats are now linked to the virus outbreak that has killed at least 26 people and infected another 830 in China, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Asian markets with live animals, targeting human consumption, act as honey pots for viruses.
Chinese buyers are particularly important in the market for airborne salmon. And when the Chinese reduce their purchases, it cuts prices.
“Prices are falling quite a bit,” says a trader to SalmonBusiness.
“We are struggling with 6+ (kg) in China. They are closing more and more airports. We are struggling with this virus. It doesn’t look so positive. The nervousness is probably affecting. People get a little skeptical.”
“The prices are down quite a bit, but it wasn’t that unexpected,” he adds.
In particular, the big fish market, which has been surfing at prices between nine and ten euros in the last month, can feel the fall. Here prices fall about to euros from the current to next week.
For the most traded weight classes, three to six kilos, there is also a fall in prices, but nowhere near the big salmon that sees most of its premium evaporated. For the first time in six weeks the average price for salmon seems to fall below seven euros.
“We hope it is corrected down there. It is positive for the customers. But so far we have not concluded on price,” says one exporter.
“It’s a difficult week, with more quantity up for sale. When you get that extra quantum beyond the minimum quantum, we get a little beating on it. Many people are running minimum quantum now, not least in Europe. And there is a lot of uncertainty about the flu in China.”
“Little has been traded yet,” another exporter points out.
SalmonBusiness’ industry sources refer to the following farmgate prices for salmon to be delivered the coming week:
- 2-3 kg NOK 58-60 (€5.8-6.0)
- 3-4 kg NOK 64-66 (€6.4-6.6)
- 4-5 kg NOK 67-69 (€6.7-6.9)
- 5-6 kg NOK 68-72 (€6.8-7.2)
- 6+ kg NOK 70-75 (€7.0-7.5)