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No let-up in salmon prices
Published:  30 June, 2010

THE rise in wholesale  salmon prices is showing no signs of a let-up.This week they averaged 40 Norwegian kroners a kilo - just over £4.20p sterling.

M&J Seafoods said in its weekly market bulletin spot prices are firming up once again as the Norwegian producers are selling out every week and there is not a lot of fish about. Although there are forecasts that prices could drop back in August the M&J report says it doesn't look as if prices will change anytime soon. There was a brief respite at Billingsgate last week, when prices fell by 50p a kilo, but it was short-lived.

Jorgen Christiansen of Norway’s Marine Harvest, Europe's  biggest salmon farmer said recently: “The big question to which we don’t know the answer is how high will salmon prices go? We can look at prices from August 2006, the last time there was a major increase, when they were up to 4.5 euros (£3.79) a kilo, the highest price earlier this year from farmer to processor.

He said  much would depend on whether demand dropped from the newer markets in South America and Eastern Europe. “Mature markets such as the UK will continue to buy salmon because they always have."

So far UK retailers have managed to hold down most prices, but that situation may not last for long. Fish generally - and cod in particular -  has been expensive in the last few weeks. The M&J report said cod and haddock supplies from Iceland were better this week and it was hoped this would ease prices.

But so far there has been little sign of that happening.The situation for farmed and wild halibut and turbot and for game fish such as tuna remains stable, even if prices are holding firm. farmed sea bass and bream from Greece and Turkey.

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