“We’ve had higher feed sales than planned”

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BioMar Norway Sales and Marketing Director Hans Halle-Knutzen said that the mild winter gave the company a good start to the year.

In November, Skretting, the world’s largest fish feed producer, chose to shut down its factory in the UK as overcapacity had burdened the fish feed market for quite some time. In March, BioMar announced downsizing.

Hans Halle-Knutzen. PHOTO: BioMar

But with yet another bright month for the feed sales in early 2019, it is now improving to track with the feed producers.

“Feed sales have had a good start in 2019, where February, like January, we had higher feed sales than planned,” said BioMar’s Halle-Knutzen.

His competitor in Skretting is also reporting a similar situation.

“Because of competition rules, I cannot give detailed information, but I can say that we see that the trend continues, albeit not as strong as the previous month,” said Skretting communications manager Leif Kjetil Skjæveland.

Fluctuations

“When feed consumption increases, Skretting’s production also increases, but fluctuations from year to year are normal, and we are within normal,” said Skjæveland.

Skretting Communication manager Leif Kjetil Skjæveland. PHOTO: Ole Alexander Saue.

“Regarding increased biomass, it has increased somewhat more than last year, but there are many other factors that play a role other than feed intake. Note that we are not in the big growing season so a feed increase in winter does not have as much to say on the biomass as it would have had in the summer and autumn,” he added.

BioMar said that they too have the capacity to handle the increase so far this year.

“Our production capacity is set up to handle natural fluctuations and the increase in feed sales is within the range we are planning for,” said Halle-Knutzen.

Strengthening
The late winter is seasonally the one with the lowest sea temperature and the fish’s appetite and the sale of feed is seasonally low. BioMar wants to encourage farmers to use the situation with higher temperatures than normal in the season.

“Higher temperatures than normal in the sea often offer some challenges as well. In this connection, it is important for us to encourage farmers to get started early on using the opportunities feed provides to strengthen the fish,” said Halle-Knutzen.

“Strengthening the fish makes it better able to handle any lice infestation or other types of challenges that it can now face earlier than what has been normal,” he added.