Fresh sal­mon prices reach record high

Fish Farmer - - All The Latest Industry News From Europe -

THE price of fresh sal­mon in Nor­way soared to a record 78.35 kro­ner (£6.75) a kilo this month, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

The fig­ure is in com­plete con­trast to the sit­u­a­tion last sum­mer when prices dropped close to pro­duc­tion cost lev­els, due mainly to higher out­put from ri­val coun­tries. At the time, the in­dus­try was wor­ried about a slump in for­tunes, but that never ma­te­ri­alised.

Nev­er­the­less, the price level in the weeks af­ter Christ­mas, when de­mand is sup­posed to have cooled off, is not only re­mark­able but is the high­est so far recorded. Seafood an­a­lysts are pre­dict­ing record prof­its for the sal­mon farm­ing in­dus­try in 2020, which should also ben­e­fit op­er­a­tions in nearby coun­tries such as Scot­land and the Faroe Is­lands. How­ever, a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion was pre­dicted this time last year, but few pre­dicted the mid-sum­mer prices slump wait­ing around the cor­ner.

And if the cur­rent up­ward price trend con­tin­ues, it is likely to strengthen de­mand from econ­o­mists and politi­cians on the left in Nor­way to im­pose higher taxes on the in­dus­try.

Three months ago, the gov­ern­ment was pre­sented with an of­fi­cial com­mit­tee re­port rec­om­mend­ing a 40 per cent flat rate tax on sal­mon farm­ing com­pa­nies, which brought stark warn­ings that such a move would drive fu­ture in­vest­ment abroad.

Although still study­ing the re­port, Oslo is thought to be cool on the main rec­om­men­da­tion. But po­lit­i­cally it may be­come harder to re­sist if prices and prof­its soar this year.

The Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil is ex­pected to pub­lish the 2019 earn­ings fig­ure later this month, but they passed the much her­alded 100 bil­lion kro­ner bar­rier at the end of Novem­ber.

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