From left: DNB's Anne Hvistendahl, Esteban Szasz, and Ola Travatn at AquaSur.

Chilean salmon production facing two-year decline

Volumes from world's second largest producer will fall by 5% this year and a further 1.5% next year before beginning recovery, say bank experts


The volume of Atlantic salmon produced in Chile will fall this year and next year, before beginning to climb in 2026, an analyst for DNB Bank said in a presentation at the AquaSur trade show in Puerto Montt this week.

Ola Trovatn forecasts that production in Chile – the world’s second largest Atlantic salmon producer – will decline by 5% from 765,000 tonnes in 2023 to 727,000 tonnes in 2024, then by 1.5% to 716,000 tonnes in 2025 before recovering to 730,000 tonnes the year after.

According to Trovatn, growth expectations for the salmon industry have decreased, which is unusual. During 2024, there will barely be a 2% expansion for the sector worldwide, while prices of Chilean salmon fillets will remain stable at US $6-US $6.1 per pound this and next year.

Temporary price drop

Anne Hvistendahl, global director of seafood products at DNB, said that in recent times the price of Chilean salmon has adjusted downwards by 7%, but that this fall is temporary.

Demand in the United States, the main market for Chilean salmon, will resume and this will give better prices. Profitability for Chilean salmon companies must improve “but is going in the right direction”, added Hvistendahl.

However, the director said that “we are reaching a biological ceiling for salmon production. New technologies are needed to demonstrate that the sustainable growth of the industry is feasible, a factor that is more important in this sector than in others.”

Esteban Szasz, senior vice president of DNB, expressed that for now, there will not be a wave of consolidation in the salmon farming industry, but at some point, mergers and acquisitions will return.

Currently, aspects such as political risks lead to low prices for companies in the salmon farming sector, but according to Szasz this will change in the future.