Against a backdrop of rising prices on the salmon market, the seafood develoment agancy, BIM, held an industry forum for 12 Irish seafood processors, to address volatility and difficult trading conditions. Over the past twelve months, the average fresh import price of salmon has increased by 23% and corresponding retail price by 3%. 

Salmon volatility workshop

“This is the most sustained price increase our processing sector has faced to date. As demand for salmon continues to grow but global production reaches saturation, our processors are losing margin on what is our most popular and valuable product, worth €92m in domestic sales alone,” remarked Donal Buckley, Director of Business Development & Innovation.

A Domestic Seafood Council has been formed to find solutions and to pool resources “to mitigate the risk of trading in this sector” with funding from BIM for research and business development.  

BIM’s Richard Donnelly outlined trends in Irish salmon production and outlook for future supply while Cora Cambpell (Kantar World Panel) research agency detailed the growing demand and consumer desire for salmon in the Irish retail market, along with growth potential. 

Jan Erik Øksenvåg from the international research agency, Kontali, gave a detailed insight into global production trends, with forecasts for short and longer term supply and the effects this may have for the Irish seafood sector.

Concluding, Brendan O’Donovan, AIB, explained how seafood companies can look at currency hedging as an ‘insurance’ policy to minimise risk.

Discussion followed on key ossible solutions relevant to the current market including: options to increase raw material supply from Ireland; developing more efficient costing models for processing and sales of salmon and the potential for group purchasing logistics to drive efficiencies.