OSLO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Norwegian fish farmer Leroey Seafood cut its 2018 forecast for growth in global salmon supplies to five percent on Tuesday from a previous estimate of seven percent, and expects the slower industry expansion to support prices.
While output from Chile and Britain, the world’s second and third largest producers, would likely be smaller than initially anticipated, the growth outlook for Norway held near-steady at 7.5 percent, data from Leroey and forecaster Kontali showed.
For the next several months however, Leroey predicted little change in Norway’s salmon output.
“We see a supply increase before Easter but apart from that we expect flat volumes until August,” Chief Executive Officer Henning Beltestad told a news conference, adding that this should give relatively strong prices for the first half of the year.
“If you look at five percent global growth for the full year it should be manageable. Demand is increasing in all markets,” Beltestad said.
While salmon prices fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2017 to an average of 49 crowns per kilo, they have since recovered to a range between 65 to 70 crowns for the current week, he added.
Total global 2018 salmon production was forecast to hit 2.42 million tonnes, of which Norway’s share was estimated at 53 percent, Chile’s at 25 percent and Britain’s at six percent. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)