Scottish salmon fish

Scotland’s salmon suppliers have so far avoided any fallout from the Russian trade embargo - but their cousins in Norway have not been so fortunate.

The average wholesale price of Norwegian farmed salmon fell 14% between July and August, from £3,710/tonne to £3,188/tonne, and is down 30% on August 2013.

The price had started to recover from a seasonal lull in the spring, said Mintec analyst Mark Koslowski, but “fell away” as soon as Russia imposed the ban. “This meant Norway has had to look at other markets, as Russia was a large market for its salmon,” he said.

While the ban has not had an effect on the Scottish salmon sector, as it was far less exposed to the Russian market, the reduction in Norwegian salmon prices “could lead to increased volumes in the UK,” he warned.

There has been better news for Norwegian cod suppliers, with increased demand from export markets pushing average wholesale prices up 19% compared with this time last year, and by 28% since January. Mintec data shows prices rose from £843/tonne in January to £1,078 in September, partly driven by a 63% year-on-year increase in demand from China.

Norway is the world’s second largest producer of cod, accounting for 21% of global production and 16% of global exports, according to Mintec.

Koslowski said the increased demand was a result of low prices at the start of 2014 due to a plentiful supply and a good winter fishing season, which made cod more attractive than mackerel to importers. “However, the low prices led to an increase in demand, which, in turn, drove prices up,” he added.

Canadian coldwater prawn prices are also rising, with end of June prices up 26% year on year to £3,955/t, driven by a cut to Canada’s total allowable catch (TAC) quota.