April 3, 2018 / 10:38 AM / 21 days ago

Norwegian salmon price remains around NOK 74-75 in current week -sources

OSLO, April 3 (Reuters) - The price of Norwegian farmed salmon remains at around 74-75 crowns per kilo in the current week, industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Prices have recovered from around 50 crowns in late January due to a seasonal upswing at Easter combined with fewer production days and lower-than-expected supply growth in recent months.

“Prices are at around 75 crowns per kilo early this week and somewhat lower later in the week, but still very high,” said a fish exporter who declined to be named.

In the previous week prices were seen in the range 72-76 crowns per kilo.

“A lower ocean temperature has reduced the biomass. I think prices (for 2018) could be higher than what we initially thought,” the exporter said.

A second exporter said spot prices currently were around 74 crowns per kilo, supported by fewer production days during the Easter holiday.

The volume of salmon in cages at Norwegian fish farms, as measured by weight, has come down to a growth of 3 percent year-on-year in February, compared to 10 percent growth in October last year, data from industry lobby group Seafood Norway showed.

“The temperature in the sea is very low, the fish has currently very limited growth and its mostly maintenance feeding,” one of the exporter’s said.

Salmon prices peaked at around 80 crowns per kilo in early January of 2017 at a time when supply constraints supported prices, but have since been trending down on growing volumes in volatile trade before a sharp recovery in the recent weeks.

Norway is the world’s top salmon exporter, and the share price of listed farming companies depends heavily on changes in the price of fish.

Average production costs for whole fish, including the cost of harvesting, rose by 13 percent to 34.29 crowns per kilo in 2016, according to data from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.

Leading Norwegian producers include Marine Harvest, Salmar, Leroy Seafood, Grieg Seafood and Norway Royal Salmon. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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