March 2, 2018 / 1:28 PM / 3 months ago

Norwegian salmon price seen rising further to NOK 68-70/kg next week

OSLO, March 2 (Reuters) - The price of Norwegian farmed salmon is expected to rise further next week to 68-70 crowns or more per kilo for Oslo delivery, up from about 66-67 crowns this week, due to limited harvesting, industry sources told Reuters on Friday.

It would be the fourth consecutive week of rising prices, from a level of around 50 crowns in early February.

For the current week, prices were initially expected to rise by 3-4 crowns to 64-65 crowns, but reached a somewhat higher level in the end.

“We are in final negotiations, and prices seem to end up at around 70 crowns or more for the upcoming week,” said a producer who declined to be named, while adding that the increase was primarily triggered by a shortage of supplies.

Separately, a fish exporter said he expected prices to rise to about 68 crowns next week. The recent sharp rise could eventually trigger a backlash in the form of less demand, sending prices lower again, he added.

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 fallen as volumes grew.

Production growth from Norway is expected to be around 9 percent in 2018, the Norwegian Seafood Council predicted in early January.

Fish farmers have predicted somewhat lower growth however.

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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