There is enormous uncertainty in the salmon market about what prices will look like next week, as Friday -- normally busy for traders -- didn't see much market activity.

Exporters had little concrete information to report on the price situation, citing that there are "rumors" of buyers asking for NOK 60 ($5.97/€5.37) per kilogram -- slightly lower than last week -- but without any confirmation if farmers will accept these prices.

"I have never experienced so quiet a Friday," one said.

Another exporter is expecting a fall in prices, but cannot foresee how big of a decline it would be.

The executive told IntraFish carryover fish has been sold for less than NOK 60 ($5.97/€5.37) per kilogram, but farmers are trying to get higher prices for the next week. He adds that farmers are currently trying to sell at around NOK 65 ($6.47/€5.82) pounds per kilogram, roughly in-line with prices last Friday.

"I think they could go down a bit and that the price will end somewhere between NOK 55 ($5.47/€4.92) and NOK 65 ($6.47/€5.82), but there is a lot of uncertainty now," he said.

Another exporter said the price trend was completely unpredictable.

"It can hit hard both ways. If Norwegian processors have to cut production, the supply is reduced," he said.

"At the same time, the processing industry in Europe, and transport, can also do the same. It's very open now. In addition, you have a 'hoarding effect' that allows demand, at least in the short term, to go up."

The same exporter added that trading will have to be taken day-by-day.

"We're going to take it very easy," he said. "It seems that things are going bad in certain segments, but better for stores. We must at least have orders before we buy fish."

Mixed challenges

The depreciation of the Norwegian kroner has contributed positively, but remains overshadowed by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, one farmer said.

Air freight is also difficult, and more expensive than usual.

This applies to both the US and Asia. In Asia, the market is picking up, but there are few planes, said one exporter.

While the EU-US passenger air routes are closed, he noted that with the UK still open, fish can move through that channel.

Processors in Denmark, meanwhile, are rumored to be taking extra shifts to accommodate demand from stores, one exporter reported.

He adds that the company has rejected several cancellations this week.

"We receive inquiries from customers in several countries who will withdraw orders," he said. "We have rejected several of those requests...what are we going to do with the fish now?"