Marine Harvest Climbs as Salmon Prices Extend Gains: Oslo Mover

Marine Harvest ASA, the world’s largest publicly-traded salmon farmer, climbed to the highest level in almost two years in Oslo trading as rising fish demand helps accelerate a recovery in prices.

The Oslo-based company gained as much as 1.1 percent to 5.98 kroner, the highest intraday level since May 11, 2011. The stock traded 0.9 percent higher as of 12:45 p.m. local time.

The price of fresh Norwegian salmon for export rose 3.7 percent to 36.13 kroner ($6.52) a kilogram (2.2 pounds) last week, Statistics Norway said in a statement today. That’s up 22 percent from 29.56 kroner in the week ending Dec. 23, the last week before the Christmas holiday, according to the report.

Shares in salmon producers tumbled in 2011 as prices slumped 60 percent to 18 kroner a kilogram from April to October amid rising production from Norway and Chile, the world’s two largest fish farmers. Output from Chile increased as farmers resumed supplies after infectious anemia virus sickened fish and ravaged its farms in 2007.

A recovery in prices since then is expected to continue into 2013 as supply growth levels off, creating a “much better” balance between supply and demand, Marine Harvest Chief Executive Officer Alf-Helge Aarskog said in an interview on Feb. 6. Demand in Europe including Russia is “exceptionally good” and the company is seeing a “positive trend” in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil, he said at the time.

Shares in Marine Harvest, in which Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen owns a 21.4 percent stake, have gained 88 percent during the last 12 months, giving the company a market value of 21.4 billion kroner.

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