“Historical” Q3 2023 harvest, sales volumes lead Multi X into the black

A Multi X salmon farm in Chile

Puerto Montt, Chile-based salmon producer Multi X said it achieved a “historical” harvest in Q3 2023, resulting in a successful quarter despite high operational costs and lower year-over-year sales prices.

The company’s Q3 2023 harvest volume of Atlantic salmon reached 31,473 metric tons (MT) whole-fish equivalent (WFE), which aligned with its growth plan. The figure represented a 33.8 percent jump when compared to the 23,530 MT WFE harvested in the same quarter of 2022 and was up 8.7 percent when compared to Q2 2023. Meanwhile, Multi X sold 35,097 MT WFE of salmon in the third quarter, representing a 53.9 percent surge year over year.

The company also achieved an average harvest weight of 5.28 kilograms WFE during the period. More than half of its volume sold were fillets at 53 percent, up 68 percent from the same time last year; while 32 percent of volume sold was comprised of whole salmon, which was a 40 percent jump.

With the increased volume sold, Multi X’s Q3 operating income reached USD 258 million (EUR 240 million), a 45.4 percent increase compared to the same quarter a year ago.

However, lower average sales prices and increased costs took their toll on the company’s bottom line. The Q3 report cited that market prices for salmon dropped from USD 6.01 (EUR 5.58) per pound in Q3 2022 to USD 5.71 (EUR 5.30) per pound in Q3 2023. The cost of sales also increased by 63 percent year over year from USD 145 million (EUR 135 million) to USD 236 million (EUR 219 million), which Multi X said was mainly due to higher operational farming costs.

Additionally, increased fish feed prices and inflationary pressures led to a 7.2 percent increase in ex-farm costs, reaching USD 4.62 (EUR 4.29) per kilogram WFE compared to USD 4.31 (EUR 3.99) in the third quarter of 2022. There was also a 24 percent year-over-year surge in harvest and transportation costs, as more of the quarter's harvest occurred in a region with cooler waters that are less prone to algae blooms, but at a location farther from the company’s logistics centers.

As a result, Multi X’s operating margin dropped ... 

Photo courtesy of Multi X 

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