“In our estimate we have four to six per cent increased growth and feeding in Q1 2019,” said Sparebank1 Markets’ salmon analyst, Tore Tønseth.
The feed companies said that the mild winter so far has lifted up feed sales compared to last winter. And all their customers reported good production conditions and that fish had good appetites.
Salmon analyst Tore Tønseth thinks everything points towards improved conditions in Norwegian farming.
“After a period of a lot of treatment of the fish, growth has improved in Norway. The number of treatments has gone down significantly and temperatures have been better in the last couple of months,” said Tønseth to SalmonBusiness.
Expect better feeding and growth
Tønseth is not surprised that feed companies have reported good sales.
“We also expect better feeding in the first half of 2019 than we had in 2018. There is a total of two to three per cent more individuals in the sea and, given that we do not get an equally cold winter as we had last year, everything is right for better growth,” he said.
Feed factor can be a “joker card”
Sparebank1 Markets expects four to six per cent increased growth and feeding in Q1 2019. Tønseth believes the feed factor can quickly become a “joker card” in 2019.
“Overall, we expect about four to five percent increased harvest volume in 2019. With some increase in biomass, growth in the feed can be somewhat higher. A “joker card” here could be the feed factor, which has been bad for several periods in 2018. If we get an improvement there in 2019, then the feed sales will be somewhat less than what the production increase would indicate,” he said.
The final harvest volumes for 2018 are not yet clear but if Sparbank1 Markets’ estimate is on target, Norway can expect a growth of up to 70,000 tons of salmon this year.