Breeding companies in western Norway raise billions. The figures for the second quartile show records in almost all areas (see fact box).
However, store prices for both whitefish and salmon will rise sharply in the future, the industry warns.
– I can clearly see in my wallet that prices are going up. Everything is getting worse, it is very terrible. I think seafood in particular, which is locally produced, is expensive. I don’t understand how they could do that, says Bjorn Olvestad of Hellestad.
Pain has reached a threshold
We meet the young retiree at the fish counter in Bloomsterdalen Center, where he’s shopping for dinner for his family of three: his wife Kristen, daughter Oda (19), and himself.
Are there items you are considering buying less as a result of the general increase in prices?
– yes. I try to buy fish twice a week, as this is recommended by health authorities. And now the price of a small package of smoked salmon has risen from 60 kroner to 80-90 kr. The pain point has long been reached and shopping is getting more and more difficult. Unfortunately, I think the price increases we’re seeing now are permanent, consumer says.
– Everything costs more
Group Director Henning Beltestad at Lerøy Seafood Group proposes to increase the prices of fish products by 20-40 percent.
We make close to a billion kroner in one quarter, so those are big numbers. We are doing well and we see that a lot of our aquaculture business is going in the right direction. In terms of results, things are not going well when it comes to sales and distribution to end customers. It takes time to adjust prices, Bilstad tells the BA.
It seems all industries are raising prices these days. Where is the pain limit for Lerøy?
– We cannot expect the consumer to pay 80 NOK for a package of salmon for one week, and 160 Kroner the following week. I would like to add that the prices we have seen recently are not ordinary. I think the climax has been reached. But Bergen residents must be prepared for gradual increases in the price of most food items, including fish. Everything costs more, from logistics to packaging and fuel for our fishing boats.
Are you afraid that people will eat less fish if prices go up too much?
No, we must have food. Having said that: We must do our part to work smarter and develop products that have added value to customers, says Lerøy Director.
Arnie reacts to the price hike: – I feel embarrassed as a Bergen person
Henning Beltestad believes the authorities are doing little to ensure the good development of the Norwegian seafood industry. From the podium of the big conference “Vestland på børs” on Tuesday, he said this:
– I feel like we are being hit in the head and deprived of growth. We may be the leading seafood country in the world. Then I think the authorities could cheer us up a little bit more, rather than scold us all the time.
Lerøy generated sales of just over NOK 6.5 billion in the last quarter, its highest ever. The operating result was 712 million.
This benefited the seafood companies
Bergen-based agricultural companies are raising money. This shows the numbers for the second quarter of 2022 (operating result):
- Moy: 3300 million.
- Greg C Food: 986 million.
- Seafood Leroy: 712 million.
- Austfull seafood: 1300 million.
Sources: E24 / Intrafish
Does the industry that makes such good money need public help? Do you manage the resources of the Norwegian people?
We need the framework conditions for growth to be sustainable. With more production, you get lower costs, and possibly lower prices. They should be more proud of and promoting the industry, not just a shovel. We produce the most sustainable proteins. In such measurements, Grieg, Lerøy and Mowi rank first in the world.
Evan Windheim, CEO of Mowi ASA, described the second quarter of 2022 as “historic.”
Operating profit of NOK 3.3 billion is a new record with a clear margin. Historically we’ve never seen these salmon prices before, driver. Together, this applies to the good volumes and good biology of our facilities. We have world class feed. There is a big difference in willingness to pay for salmon, but Mowi has good profits in all countries. 70 percent is Norway, says Wendheim.
The ability to withstand the race
Star-studded dining party at Verftet
Yes, we love spicy food!
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