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OSLO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - The price of farmed Norwegian salmon is expected to drop to a nine-month low of around 46-48 Norwegian crowns ($5.42-$5.66) per kilo next week from this week’s 48-49 Norwegian crowns as supply continues to grow, industry sources said on Friday.
“We expect 45-46 crowns next week, probably 46 crowns on average. The market is OK, but there is too much salmon available. We expect this (high harvesting) to continue until October,” said one exporter who declined to be named.
Last week Norway’s export volume rose by 8.7 percent from the same week last year to 18,978 tonnes of salmon.
The exporter said fish farmers were forced to harvest more salmon due to the prevalence of sea lice and other biological issues, partly caused by the warm Norwegian summer.
The early slaughter of fish could in turn limit next year’s supply growth however, and prices could thus begin to recover before the end of 2018.
A salmon producer also said he predicted a drop in prices for next week.
“So far it’s quiet, but it seems prices end between 45 to 48 crown, and with a premium for salmon bigger than 6 kilo. It’s a combination of more production and holiday in Europe. Production has to drop before we could see a price rise,” he added.
Average production costs for whole fish, including the cost of harvesting, stood at 34.36 crowns per kilo in 2017, or 0.12 crowns lower than in 2016, according to data from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.
Norway is the world’s top salmon producer, with fish farming the country’s second-largest export industry after oil and gas. The share price of listed farming companies depends heavily on changes in the price of fish.
Leading Norwegian producers include Marine Harvest, Salmar, Leroy Seafood, Grieg Seafood and Norway Royal Salmon.
$1 = 8.4868 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik