OSLO, March 10 (Reuters) - The average price of Norwegian farmed salmon is expected to rise by some 2-5 crowns to around 60-63 crowns per kilo for deliveries in Oslo next week, industry sources told Reuters on Friday.
In the current week, prices turned out to be stronger than expected, coming in on average at an unchanged 58 crowns per kilo against an expected drop to 50-55 crowns as demand rose more than anticipated.
"Prices are up 4 crowns to around 62-63 crowns per kilo in Oslo," said a salmon producer who declined to be named.
"When prices fell to 55-56 crowns (early) in current week, the buyers came back. We also had some help from a weaker Norwegian crown currency. But now we're back at a level which makes the customers reluctant again," he added.
A fish exporter confirmed the recovery in prices.
"We are back on 60 crowns per kilo. It's somewhat better than we expected. This week we probably end at 58 crowns and that's much stronger than we expected," the exporter said.
Supply constraints are expected to support prices in the first half of 2017 before an expected increase in volumes later in the year, fish farmers including Marine Harvest, Leroey Seafood and Salmar recently said.
"We might have 60 crowns in March and April but we don't expect 60 crowns for the rest of the year," the exporter said.
Prices have fallen from around 80 crowns per kilo in early January. Earnings margins are still high by historical standards, despite a sharp rise in production costs in Norway in recent years to around 32-33 crowns per kilo.
Norway is the world's top salmon exporter, with leading producers including Marine Harvest, Salmar, Leroy Seafood, Grieg Seafood and Norway Royal Salmon. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)