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Salmon prices staying high for 2020, predicts analyst

Ragnar Nystøyl, chief analyst at Kontali, addresses the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen. Photo: Ole Andreas Drønen / Kyst.no.
Ragnar Nystøyl, chief analyst at Kontali, addresses the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen. Photo: Ole Andreas Drønen / Kyst.no.

Salmon prices are likely to remain high in 2020 because of low volume growth, an industry analyst has told delegates attending the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen this week.

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Ragnar Nystøyl, chief analyst at Kontali, is predicting modest growth of 3% in the world’s biggest salmon producing country, Norway.

One of the reasons is that the deaths of millions of fish caused by algal blooms in northern Norway last year means the country’s fish farmers have a smaller biomass to harvest this year.

Coronavirus

Nystøyl also believes it is difficult to estimate how the coronavirus will affect consumer demand.

He points out that the fear of the virus is preventing people in some countries going to restaurants, where much of the salmon sold to countries such as China is consumed.

Despite the Chinese market being much reduced, the spot price of salmon has risen in the last two weeks.

Record high for Week 9

According to Norwegian statistics organisation Akvafakta, the salmon price rose by NOK 6.14 (£0.51) per kg last week (Week 9) and ended at NOK 73.48 per kg, the highest Week 9 price in modern aquaculture history. In two weeks the price has risen by NOK 12.15 per kg.

The price is also NOK 16.73 per kg higher than in the same week last year.

The average price so far this year is NOK 72.11 per kg compared to 57.55 NOK per kg at the same time in 2019.

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