Uncertain biomass leads to price hike

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Uncertainty about how much harvest ready fish in the sea shakes salmon market.

“There will be a significant increase. Price developments during the week have been significant. We are somewhat unsure of volume recording next week, the big companies are becoming better at keeping their cards close to the chest. But if there is an increase of 7-8 kroner (EUR 0.7 – 0.8) then we can expect a setback,” said a buyer to SalmonBusiness.

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.

“Buyers imagined low prices in September and October, but now somebody believes that the price rise is already coming.”

He believes that the biomass estimates will decide. Kontali Analyse’s estimates are significantly higher than Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries and Norwegian Seafood Federation.

“The whole market in Asia is based on buying fish when prices are down. If prices go to six and seven euros already now there will be no freezing, he says, adding: “When Chile comes in, they will start to harvest the main volume from October. They will increase by 12-15 per cent this year.”

The industrial sources SalmonBusiness talked to after lunch on Friday outlined the following prices for next week:

  • EUR 5.7-5.9 3-4 kilos
  • EUR 5.8-6.1 4-5 kilos
  • EUR 6.4-6.5 5-6 kilos
  • EUR 6.8-7.2 6+ kilos

An exporter confirmed these prices. He has not yet bought fish but is prepared to pay these prices.

“We’ll start now,” he said.

“The big companies are pushing up the price,” says another exporter. “We have not bought anything yet. If you talk to the big listed companies, you will hear 60 NOK (EUR 6.1) plus. They are so much better than us at selling,” he chuckles.

A trader doesn’t hide the fact that he is nervous about the rapid rise in prices.

“Now people stop freezing. We can not freeze on the prices next week, and then much of the fish that is in stock will stop. I think there is a recoil.

He points out that those who have frozen fish of NOK 50 (EUR 5.1) on average have got a bargain.

“We’re a bit nervous for next week. Suddenly we can see a decrease on 0,5 EUR/kg, but let’s hope it’ll stay like this for another week.”