Chile faces 67% drop in farmed salmon output


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 7, 2009

At the third annual RS Platou Markets Seafood Conference in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday, Henrik Heiberg, VP of finance and treasury for Marine Harvest, predicted global farmed salmon production to fall 7 to 12 percent this year, due to an unprecedented drop in Chile's output.

In his presentation, Heiberg said global farmed salmon production is expected to range from 1.17 million to 1.24 million metric tons this year.

Infectious salmon anemia (ISA) is taking a toll on Chile's farmed salmon production, which is forecasted to plummet by as much as 67 percent, to 120,000 metric tons, in 2009.

However, Norway's farmed salmon production is projected to increase by as much as 13 percent, to 754,000 metric tons, this year, outpacing the United Kingdom at 6 percent (130,000 metric tons) and North America at 5 percent (128,000 metric tons).

Heiberg also laid out his predictions for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2009, which were particularly bleak for Chile. Chile's farmed salmon output is projected to slide by as much as 87 percent during that nine-month period, to 37,000 metric tons.

With farmed salmon production way down in Chile and up in Norway this year, Heiberg said he expected a "major" supply shortfall in the Americas but relief in supply pressure in the Europe Union. The United States represents 60 percent of Chile's farmed salmon exports, while the EU accounts for just 9 percent.

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