Kontali predicts contraction of farmed Atlantic salmon supply in 2022

The salmon panel at the 2022 Global Seafood Market Conference

New predictive data from Kontali Analyse indicates that global production of farmed Atlantic salmon will remain relatively flat in 2022, even as demand continues its expected increase in pace.

The data, shared during the National Fisheries Institute’s Global Seafood Market Conference, predicts that the global supply of farmed Atlantic salmon will increase by roughly 1 percent in 2022. Of that total, North American production is expected to decrease by six percent, from an estimate in 2021 of 160,500 metric tons (MT) to 150,200 MT in 2022.

“What you’re seeing is the salmon production increase over the last few years has been between 5 and 7 percent,” Atlantic Sapphire Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Damien Claire said during the panel. “What you see for next year – and that is a prediction, it is not actual numbers – we see a contraction that draws down to 1 percent.”

That decrease in production coincides with a rise in demand in the U.S. market, according to participants in the annual GSMC Salmon Panel.

“So if we’re thinking of a global growth of about 5 to 7 percent on the demand side, I think this group can do the math and see that we’re going to have a very, very short market,” Claire said.

The new numbers had some surprises compared to previous projections, according to Camanchaca Vice President of Sales Cesar Lago.

“I think a big surprise, and I know Ragnar [Nystøyl of Kontali Analyse AS] was very surprised, if you looked at Kontali – and I look at it every month – just a few months ago it had Chile’s projected growth for 2022 at 11 percent,” Lago said. “And two months ago, it fell off from 11 to 2 [percent]. So a huge drop.”

Chile’s output is projected to increase from 703,900 MT to 715,000 MT in 2022, according to the Kontali data. The flat or reduced in both North America and Chile could result in shorter supplies in the U.S., the panel agreed

“The two natural suppliers are Canada and Chile, and you’re seeing Canada have a significant drop,” Claire said.

Chile, too, will have a much lower supply available when compared to 2020, when Chile produced 778,500 MT.

“We are going to feel it even more right here in North America in relation to the rest of the world,” Claire said. 

The first quarter production of salmon in Chile, in particular, is estimated to be down significantly compared to 2021. Kontali estimated Q1 salmon production will drop by 35,000 MT.

“The first quarter in Chile is summertime in the Southern Hemisphere,” Lago said. “So you’ve got warmer water temperatures, and there the salmon does not grow as fast or as well. So right there, there’s going to be a loss of biomass."

In early months of 2021, Chile had to deal with a series of algae blooms that impacted biomass, another symptom of the warmer waters in summer.

“We haven’t had a major bloom impact like in 2016, where the industry lost 25 percent of the biomass. However, there were minor blooms in 2021 and just recently we saw some farms were hit with a bloom in 2022,” Drake said.

As a result, companies are moving harvests of fish up into the fourth quarter if they are at market size, according to Lago.

“They’re mitigating their risk in the first quarter,” Lago said. “We’re going to continue to see that. You’re going to see lower volumes in the first quarter out of Chile because of the warmer temperatures and the risks.”  

Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource


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