Leroy CEO Beltestad : Zero growth is unacceptable

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Staggered development of salmon market due to zero growth.

It was Super Thursday in Bergen, Norway.

All three listed salmon farmers in Bergen, Marine Harvest, Leroy Seafood Group and Grieg Seafood presented their results at home soil. The location was the brand new Scandic hotel just next to the newly opened terminal at Bergen Airport, Flesland.

Cutting volumes
And the three big farmers have one thing in common: they have cut their predicted slaughter volumes for this year.

“Now I say again: there will be no growth this year. There has been no significant growth in five years. And neither will there be any noticeable growth next year,” says Leroy’s CEO Henning Beltestad.

“We can not go on like that. We must grow in order to develop this industry because we are losing out in some markets,’ he says.

Increased prices
The natural consequence of low supply of fish is increased prices.

“We just witnessed the highest price quarter in the industry’s history,” he points out.

At the same time, Beltestad is well aware that a significant increase in slaughter volumes is expected in the short term, in the second half of 2017, which many observers and market players fear will lower salmon prices.

“I think one should handle the increased harvest volumes in the second half. It will give impetus to the retail segment in Europe – and have even more impact on ‘others’,” he says, referring to fast-growing new markets.