Murray Cod Australia (ASX:MCA) competes in premium seafood market


by Carolyn Herbert

Murray Cod Australia Limited (ASX:MCA) Executive Chairman Ross Anderson discusses competing in the lucrative market for premium seafood.

Murray Cod Australia (ASX:MCA) is a result of three businesses coming together. A hatchery, a nursery and a grow out farm that operate as an integrated operation to produce high-quality Murray cod, which is Australia’s premium native fish.

Murray cod’s a unique eating fish in that it’s a freshwater fish with a very high albumin content. It has a creamy white flesh with a firm texture that makes it an ideal and versatile fish for chefs to use, across a variety of dishes. It’s quite interesting, we’re finding that the top end restaurants in Sydney are taking virtually all of the supply, we’re sending into Sydney. It’s not reaching any end consumers at all. Whereas in the Melbourne markets, it tends to be completely soaked up by Chinese and Vietnamese retailers.

The financial model of the business is actually really simple. It costs us about $10 to get a kilo of fish to market and we wholesale that fish, for sort of $18 to $22 depending on where it’s going. It’s really just of matter of how many kilos we’ve produce over the next decade, it’ll remain a premium fish in the world and we expect the margins to remain high. We recently announced that we’ve got productive capacity of 300,000 kilos at the moment, as compared to 90,000 we forecast in our prospectus.

Our contract growers are at 150,000 kilos capacity. We’ll be moving in excess of a million kilos by the year 2021 and we’ll be pushing towards 10 million kilos, by the year 2030.

Our long-term ambition is to have this at a billion dollar market cap, with a company that’s producing between 10,000 and 20,000 tonnes of Murray cod, on a per annum basis. Over the next 12 months, we’ve just got to continue to do what we’re doing right now. Building our production, maximising the efficiency of our systems and continually improving our processes.