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Soft market, small sizes: Salmon prices take a tumble

Sea lice problems in Norway lead to smaller sizes; exporters struggle to sell.

The market for Norwegian farmed salmon looks soft heading into next week.

Friday was a long day of waiting, for the Norwegian fresh salmon market, with exporters struggling to sell salmon harvested this week, and seeing prices for fish harvested last week at under NOK 50 (€5.30/$6) per kilo.

"It is very challenging and quiet in the market. It almost seems like some customers do not answer when we call,” an exporter told IntraFish.

Prices are expected to be low into next week, especially for small fish of 1-4 kilos -- which seem to be dominant on the market.

"If we look at the Nasdaq volume, 41 percent were in the weight class 1-4 kilos in week 43, versus 26 percent the same week last year,” one exporter said.

Salmon lice and PD have taken a toll on fish in Hordaland in particular.

An industry source in Europe is hoping for a price of NOK 52 (€5.50/$6.20), NOK 54 (€5.70/$6.50) and NOK 56 (€5.90/$6.70) kilos for fish of 3-4 kilos, 4-5 kilos and 5-6 kilos, but emphasized no deals had been made.

Prices on main sizes for industry will end up somewhere between NOK 50 (€5.30/$6) and NOK 55 (€5.80/$6.60) per kilo, the source guessed.

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