Norway Salmon Prices Sustain Fluctuations in 2023

Salmon prices are ever dynamic, always shifting almost on a weekly basis and 2023 has demonstrated this in a big way. Through week 15 of 2023, for example, prices for Norwegian farmed salmon increased by 6.95% compared to week 14, according to the NASDAQ Salmon Index.

The prices climbed up to NOK 119.24 (€10.41, $11.43) per kilogram. While the increase is considerably high, the price was still a decrease from the record high that NASDAQ had recorded, which was at NOK 128.63 per kilogram in week 11 of 2023. Compared to the last 12 weeks, this price represented an increase of 31.35%.

For the week ahead, particularly week 17 starting on April 24, salmon prices are expected to drop. This is according to ground sources who gave projections to the media.

However, it’s important to note that supply of the large size salmon is strained at the moment and this could see prices going up. Indeed, some dealers are already witnessing high prices for this category of salmon.

For example, prices for salmon weighing over 9 kilograms was at NOK 119.24 in week 15, which was equivalent to an increase of 7.75% compared to week 14. 

This is how the the salmon prices performed across the rest of the common salmon weight classes:

  • 1-2 kgs : NOK 89.52/KG (€8.58, $8.58 )
  • 2-3 kgs: NOK 104.02/KG (€9.97, $9.97)    
  • 3-4 kgs: NOK 118.58/KG (€10.24, $11.36)
  • 4-5 kgs: NOK 120.36/KG (€10.39 , $11.53)
  • 5-6 kgs: NOK 124.66/KG (€10.76, $11.95)    
  • 6-7 kgs: NOK 124.36/KG (€10.76, $11.92)    
  • 7-8 kgs: NOK 123.39/KG (€10.74, $11.82)    
  • 8-9 kgs: NOK 121.72/KG (€10.65, $11.66)

Related: Price Insights for Norwegian Salmon  

From a wider perspective, the salmon prices have generally been on an upward trajectory through 2023. By early March, the prices were already on a third week of sustained record highs.

This trend has gotten farmers speculating that it might provide impetus for the proposed tax increase on the salmon industry. This move has been resisted strongly by players in the sector who argue that high prices do not necessarily translate to high costs, considering that the production costs are also skyrocketing.

Norway is the salmon basket of the world, farming and supplying over 50% of farmed salmon in the world. In 2022, the country exported over 1.5 million tonnes of salmon. So strong economically, salmon is the second largest source of Norway’s income, after fossil fuels. Profits are lucrative, with farmers having made an estimated 45% operating profits in 2022.

It is these profits that have encouraged the government to think about increasing the tax. Nicknamed “salmon tax”, the  government is proposing to introduce a 40% additional tax. This is in addition to the 22% corporate tax that the sector already pays.

The market responded negatively, and the government adjusted the proposal to 35%. According to the ministry of finance, this new tax is aimed at ensuring that coastal communities enjoy more value from fish farming. This money will go towards schools and other welfare services such as taking care of the elderly.

Related: Production, Exports/Imports & Season Insights for Norwegian Salmon

Players in the Norwegian salmon industry have strongly opposed the tax proposals, saying this will scare away investments. Already, £3.1 billion worth of potential investments have been canceled since the government announced this new move back in September 2022, according to  Kristin Langeland from the Norwegian Seafood Federation.