SALMON prices are showing positive signs of hardening as more countries gradually start opening up their economies in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

In Norway, which often acts as a marker for neighbouring countries, the country’s statistics office this week reports fresh or chilled salmon was just over NOK 59 per kilo. This represents an increase of 8.3 per cent on the previous week. This is the highest price level since early March. And there are predictions from processors that Scottish spot prices are also expected to go up next week.

And demand appears to be picking up with Norwegian exports rising by 5.6 per cent on the previous week to just over 16,800 tonnes sold. Scotland, which saw salmon exports drop by 40 per cent in volume during the first three months of this year, is also reporting renewed activity. The rise in the price of frozen salmon was less dramatic at NOK 58.67 per kilo, up by 2.9 per cent, but it is an increase nevertheless. The average price of fresh salmon this time last year was about NOK 75 per kilo, although they later slumped due to oversupply and a spell of prolonged hot weather in Europe during July and August.

France and the United States are Scotland’s largest market and were together worth around £400 million last year. Both these countries are now emerging from lockdown.

Much depends on which direction the pandemic takes, but industry observers believe that the aquaculture sector is coming out of the worst period of this crisis. They say that while prices may fluctuate from week to week, they are expected to remain firm. The real turning point will only come when restaurants start to open up.

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