The salmon report below clearly explains the huge inflationary price pressures that the processors and wholesalers have faced over the past 6 months.
To help explain the impact on fresh salmon prices, I have constructed a graph which plots the price movements since October 2012. I have not indicated the prices on the X axis as the actual price per kilo will vary from wholesaler to wholesaler. What is important is the clear upward trend. In percentage terms we have experienced a 77% increase in fresh salmon prices since last October.
Why the Increase?
There are several factors which have affected the fresh salmon prices. I will try and summarise them below.
Scottish Salmon / Irish Salmon
There has been a shortage of Scottish salmon in the market place; the Scottish farmers have experienced problems with Amoebic Gill disease, especially in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter of 2012, which has had a significant impact on the availability of fish. The shortage of Scottish salmon has resulted in market demand being put on Norwegian supplies to satisfy the short fall.
The Norwegian salmon farmers have had some of their own fish health issues but have harvested at a level to try and satisfy the demand for fresh salmon from the market. Where it may not be politically correct to make this next statement, I believe that this situation has been conveniently exploited by the salmon farmers and they have regulated supply to force prices up to such extent that we, their customer base, are really hurting badly!
Buying salmon in Norway is done in NOK (Norwegian Krone). We are all aware of our weak British Pound, however against the NOK it’s at its lowest since 1976. The impact of this weak exchange rate has lifted prices on fresh salmon between 40 – 50p per kilo.
To compound the problem the salmon farmers have experienced very cold water conditions; the impact of cold water slows the growth of the salmon at sea. We will see the larger sizes of salmon go short in the very near future.
There is no exact science to predict salmon prices. The above brief outlines what we have experienced over the last 6 months. At the moment the full impact of fresh salmon prices are not being passed onto the customers. If this upward pressure continues please expect more price increases on all salmon products.