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Top notch performance, but productivity dips

NORWAY - Norways fish farming industry is riding the crest of a wave. Operating revenues hit an all time high for 2006 and the industry recorded total profits, before tax, of NOK 5.6 million.

Preliminary figures show that the average fish farming business had an estimated 29 per cent operating margin, a result of increased sales of Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout – up 20 per cent on the previous year says ‘Fiskerdirektoratet’. Operating profits before taxation are estimated to be around NOK 30,780 000.
However, productivity has fallen and production costs have increased. Lower productivity is attributed to increasing labour requirements and increasing salaries and feed costs are increasing as a result of global commodity prices and economic pressure on raw materials.
Production cost per kg now averages NOK17.11, up almost NOK1 on last year.
Industry commentators say the price rises can be sustained because aquaculture is an expanding business and the demand for high-quality products is increasing. However, competitive market pressure may come from developing nations, where labour costs and resources are less expensive.