Salmon giant Mowi has reported record first quarter volumes from its Scottish operations.
The world’s largest farmed fish producer said its sites in Scotland delivered 18,273 tonnes (gutted weight) of salmon during the first three months of 2021 , which was a significant increase from 9 036t in the first quarter of last year.
Mowi said the jump in production was due to increased smolt stocking,
improved biology and a higher average harvest weight, which improved by 35% from the comparable quarter.
The increased earnings from the first quarter of 2020
were mainly due to lower cost and increased volumes following
“improved biological performance”.
Delayed harvesting from Q4 2020 into the first half of 2021 was also employed as a strategy to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit in key markets.
Mowi said its Scottish sites had enjoyed a general improvement in “biology”, thanks to a “notable” reduction in several common diseases.
But CMS (cardiomyopathy syndrome, a fish disease affecting farmed and wild Atlantic salmon) “remains at a relatively high rate of detection”.
Sea lice at “normal levels’
Mowi added: “Sea lice levels in the first quarter were normal at most locations, and additional control methods have materialised in the form of a second
freshwater treatment vessel and high availability of cleaner fish from the breeding programme in Anglesey, North Wales.”
Fish deaths cost the Scottish business about £860,000 in the first quarter of 2021, down from £23.m a year ago, mainly related to treatment losses and CMS.
Mowi Scotland harvested from sites with “very low cost” in the
first quarter and is producing from farms outside Skye,
carrying a higher cost level, this quarter.
Although extensive lockdown measures are still in place, out-of-home consumption has started to improve in some markets.”
Ivan Vindheim, Mowi chief executive
First quarter operational Ebit across Mowi’s global operations was flat year-on-year, at £94.2m, on revenue that grew by 15.5% to £862.2m. Volumes were up by 51% at 125,468t.
Mowi said it believed global demand for salmon was on the road to full recovery, driven by Covid-19 measures becoming less restrictive.
Chief executive Ivan Vindheim added: “Although extensive lockdown measures are still in place, out-of-home consumption has started to improve in some markets, compared with the previous quarter.
“Demand in retail has continued to be very good, something Mowi has yet again capitalised on through our integrated value chain.”