Marine Harvest: Norway feed needs largely self-met

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Nearly every Marine Harvest salmon farms in Norway was supplied aquafeed from the company’s own, in-house-produced supplies, the company has revealed.

Marine Harvest’s Norwegian feed plant in Bjugn, Norway, produced more than 300,000 tonnes of feed in 2017, and the company said its Norway needs are nearly all now met. That’s a loaded statement, with vast aquafeed supply chasing what now looks like shrinking demand.

“Marine Harvest Fish Feed supplied salmon feed to all our farms in Norway, except our northernmost and southernmost farms,” a note to shareholders said. Feed is the bulk of per-fish production costs in salmon-farming.

“All ingredients — marine as well as non-marine in origin —  which are used in the production of our feeds are fully traceable … from suppliers who adhere to responsible fishery management practices,” a statement said.

With the world’s biggest salmon farmer covered in Norway; with Western Canada covered by Skretting, and with Scotland about to have its own Marine Harvest feed factory, the aquafeed landscape for salmon appears to be shrinking.

Imminent growth on both Canadian coasts; Norway’s “six-percent”, per-license biomass auction round; fast-increasing Icelandic production and Chilean Antarctic growth are seen as bright spots for feed suppliers.

Despite the feed self-reliance, Marine Harvest said it still depends on “major industry suppliers” of fish feed for “a significant share of our fish feed”.

“There are a limited number of key suppliers of these items (feed and wellboats) to our industry, and failure to maintain good business relationships with these suppliers may have a significantly adverse effect on us,” a statement said.