Kontali: Norwegian salmon earnings soared in 2022 despite smaller harvest

A salmon farm located in a fjord in Norway

Norway’s salmon industry posted a 30 percent increase in export earnings last year despite a smaller harvest, with sales to overseas markets totaling a record NOK 105.6 billion (USD 9.6 billion, EUR 9 billion), according to Norwegian seafood data firm Kontali.

The data highlighting this increase, compiled by Kontali Analyst Filip Szczesny in a recent report titled “The Salmon Farming Industry in Norway 2023,” found that the E.U. and U.K. market was the biggest purchaser of Norwegian salmon in 2022, buying a 71 percent share of exports.

Notably, the U.S. increased its share of Norwegian salmon exports more than any other market, rising from 5.4 percent to 6.6 percent, while Japan’s share of Norwegian salmon exports fell from 3.2 percent to 2.7 percent.

The industry realized higher sales even as average sea temperatures were lower in 2022 than in the preceding year, impairing growth conditions for Norway’s producers. Average salmon harvest weight fell 1 percent to 4.84 kilograms whole-fish equivalent (WFE) during the period, and in total, the country harvested just over 1.5 million metric tons (MT) WFE.

The total global harvest of salmonids in 2022 reached 3.43 million MT – a 1.2 percent increase compared to 2021, but with Norway’s harvest volume decreasing in 2022, its share of global volume fell from 47.4 percent to 46.4 percent. Chile was the second-largest producer in volume terms with an output of just over 1.05 million MT.

Nevertheless, total income for Norway’s 38 large salmon-farming companies – those that possess six or more licenses – increased 27 percent, and prices increased 43 percent to an average of NOK 82 (USD 7.48, EUR 6.95) per kilogram. The weighted average earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin for these companies increased from 20.8 percent in 2021 to 28.5 percent in 2022.

For the remaining 40 small and mid-sized companies – those that possess five or fewer licenses – net sales increased by 23 percent in 2022, and the weighted average EBIT margin was 26.1 percent, jumping from 18.4 percent posted the year before.

Alongside increased earnings, production costs also rose in 2022, with ... 

Photo courtesy of Andrei Armiagov/Shutterstock

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