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Norwegian halibut farmer Nordic Halibut reported in a Q3 operation update that it is continuing to see upward sales price trends, but that the company saw lower revenue and harvests as part of its long-term strategy to capitalize on larger sized fish.
Nordic Halibut farms the species in ocean-based net pens in Midsund, Askøy, and Averøy, Norway. In a Q2 2023 operational update, the company said it saw an increased average sales price as willingness to pay for farmed halibut increased.
In its latest update, the company said that it received an average sales price of NOK 147 (USD 13.44, EUR 12.73) per kilogram during the quarter, a 2 percent price increase compared to last year – though a slight drop from the NOK 155 (USD 14.17, EUR 13.43) per kilogram average sales price it saw last year. For the year, the company has seen an average sales price of NOK 160 (USD 14.63 EUR 13.86) per kilogram, 14 percent higher year-over-year.
Total revenue generated during the quarter reached NOK 17 million (USD 1.5 million, EUR 1.4 million), the company said, and its harvest volume ended at 131 metric tons (MT), or 118 MT head-on, gutted.
The company said its harvest volumes fell slightly in the quarter as part of the company’s strategy for harvesting fish to alight with a commercial focus it communicated in its Q2 update. In that update, the company said it is working toward larger fish and a more optimal size distribution.
“This resulted in a relatively low average harvest weight of 4.8 kilograms (4.3 kg HOG) in the quarter,” The company said.
The lower harvest weight, it said, is why the price flagged slightly compared to Q2 2023 as lower volumes were sold at the preferred size categories above 5 kilograms.
“Price levels for various size categories remained consistent with previous periods, which proves the continuous positive underlying market trends,” Nordic Halibut said.
The lower harvest weights also meant a lower share of the company’s sales were to the U.S. market, Nordic Halibut said. The U.S., it said, has a “significant preference for larger-sized fish.” The sales it did manage in the U.S. market concluded at an average price of NOK 200 (USD 18.29, EUR 17.32) per kilogram, which it said “underscores the company’s commercial strategy to maximize the potential of larger harvests.”
Exports for Norway at large have been continuously affected by the weaker krone, which has made up significant portions of the nation’s seafood export value increases in 2023. Nordic Halibut’s export totals were also impacted by the weaker krone: The NOK 155 average in Q3 2023 was equivalent to USD 14.17 and EUR 13.41 per kilogram, an amount that in Q2 2023 was equivalent to USD 15.32 and EUR 13.76 per kilogram.  
Photo courtesy of Nordic Halibut
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