Nor­way salmon biomass con­tin­ues to rise

Fish Farmer - - European News -

PRICES may have see-sawed sharply in re­cent weeks, but Nor­way’s salmon biomass is con­tin­u­ing to in­crease, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data.

Seafood Nor­way, which rep­re­sents most salmon farm­ing com­pa­nies, re­ports that the vol­ume of salmon in cages at the coun­try’s fish farms, as mea­sured by weight, rose by six per cent year-on-year in June.

The quan­tity was es­ti­mated at 636,000 tonnes, a rise of 8,000 tonnes on the pre­vi­ous month. Nor­way’s biomass has been mov­ing up­wards at a steady rate since the be­gin­ning of the year.

Salmon prices have fallen quite sharply in the past two months, but this ap­pears to be a trend dur­ing the sum­mer hol­i­day sea­son when many farms draw back on pro­duc­tion, of­ten just to catch up on main­te­nance. An­a­lysts be­lieve that over the long term, de­mand for salmon is grow­ing faster than sup­ply, which is why the in­dus­try is not un­duly con­cerned about short term fluc­tu­a­tions.

The in­dus­try also hedges it­self through such sit­u­a­tions with for­ward con­tracts. Ex­ports, es­pe­cially into Europe, are run­ning at record lev­els in rev­enue terms. In fact, seafood ex­ports dur­ing the first half of 2018 have hit an all-time record, driven by salmon and a surge in de­mand from EU coun­tries, in­clud­ing the UK.

Paul Aan­dahl, an­a­lyst at the Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil, said: ‘The main in­crease in salmon de­mand has come from the EU. We have also seen a clear in­crease in the con­sump­tion of fresh salmon in mar­kets such as France, the UK and Italy.’

Salmon ex­ports for the first seven months of 2018 reached 572,000 tonnes with a value of NOK 37.8 bil­lion, the vol­ume up by nine per cent and value up by four per cent on the same pe­riod last year. Poland and France re­main the largest over­seas mar­kets. The Oslo Stock Ex­change, where most Nor­we­gian salmon farm­ing com­pa­nies are listed, is in buoy­ant mood. Af­ter a fairly slug­gish start to the year, the Seafood In­dex has been the fastest riser with an in­crease of 41.6 per cent. But prices have fluc­tu­ated wildly dur­ing the first half of this year, vary­ing from 52 kro­ners a kilo up to NOK 80 per kilo just three months ago.

The Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil be­lieves that growth and prices will be dic­tated by strong de­mand from Asian coun­tries such as China.

Above: Paul Aan­dahl

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