Low prices hold back cod farmer’s revenue

Norwegian cod farmer Statt Torsk has reported a small first quarter loss despite a big rise in revenue.

The company is blaming poor price returns with CEO Gustave Brun-Lie stating: “There are many reasons for this, but the fact is that we have not yet achieved our goal to differentiate our product from the other white fish products.

“Still, we have all reasons to believe that we will obtain higher prices throughout 2023.

“The prices obtained for the products where we did not have long term agreement for were far too low, sometimes even lower than prices for wild caught fish.”

Statt Torsk said earnings for the January to March periods totalled NOK 36.65m (£2.7m) up from NOK 7.9m (£590,000) 12 months earlier, when it was not in production.

The good news is that the net loss was reduced by half from NOK 7.5m (£559,000) last year to NOK 3.76m (£280,000) this time.

The harvest for its second commercial production quarter was 1,086 tonnes with the company expecting to produce around 3,000 tonnes this year as a result of reduced weight.

Statt Torsk is one of a small, but growing number of Norwegian fish farming companies engaged in cod farming.

Outlining the plan for this year, the company said its aim is to establish farmed cod as a premium product with year round fixed deliveries. It already has a pilot customer in Spain and has been supplying samples to potential buyers in Norway and Asia.

The supply of fresh wild cod can be interrupted by prolonged spells of bad fishing weather particularly during the winter months.

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