Current prices are showing this anticipated increase. As seen in the table below, prices at export level have risen by 54 per cent and at retail level by 31 per cent for fresh salmon. For smoked salmon, price at retail has remained stable.
The consequence of rapidly rising raw material prices compared to stable prices at retail level, particularly for processed product, is putting significant pressure on margins at factory level. In the French industry, this has led to a wave of corporate movements with a probable reinforcing of some of the major brands following acquisitions of smaller companies in difficulty.
Labeyrie,Delpeyrat, Guyader and Meralliance have made significant acquisitions while Marine Harvest are rationalising their processing units. This will lead to a more concentrated market where control of raw material sourcing will be paramount considering that salmon production is not forecast to increase significantly over coming years and the likely strength of demand.
The French private label leading supplier, Meralliance, has announced plans to construct their own land site closed circuit production unit with capacity of producing 800 tonnes of salmon per year.
The unit will be based in Brittany and is expected to be in service by 2015. French smokers produce 31,000 tonnes of smoked salmon annually, demonstrating an important need for consistent supply of raw material.