Salmon industry set for robust profits as feed and biological costs decline amid tight supply

Matthew Wilcox

For the first half of 2024, salmon prices are expected to remain high, as demand continues to surpass supply. 

The first half of 2024 looks promising for the salmon industry, with the combination of lower production expenses and consistent market demand expected to continue to drive the sector’s robust performance, according to Rabobank’s latest Global Aquaculture Update.

This projection is grounded in the expectation of sustained profitability for salmon farmers, despite a step down from the record-high prices witnessed in the first half of 2023.

A slight positive supply growth is anticipated, but it will be marginal, due to flat or negative growth in Chile, the world’s second-largest salmon producer.

Prices plummet: “It’s been a brutal week. We’ve lost a huge amount, and others have lost even more”

Price adjustment

The report puts this adjustment down to the lower prices of competitive proteins and possible El Niño-induced changes in production conditions.

These reductions could significantly bolster the industry’s bottom line, making up for any revenue dips caused by slightly lower salmon prices.

Fish meal and fish oil, key inputs in salmon farming, saw significant price increases in 2023, according to Rabobank, primarily due to El Niño’s impact in Peru which caused prices to hit 200% the previous highs.

With the gradual softening of prices expected in the first half of 2024, salmon industry profits are expected to increase in turn.


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