Chilean salmon farmer Multiexport swung to a $26.4 million (€22.5 million) fourth-quarter operating loss in 2020, the result of low salmon prices and the pandemic fallout.

The figure is a dramatic turn from last year, when earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were at $9.4 million (€8 million).

Lower salmon prices were also reflected in a 12 percent drop in revenues to $129.3 million (€110.2 million).

The closure of large parts of the foodservice sector across the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand, while Chilean producers harvested almost 13 percent more fish than in the corresponding period of 2019.

Multiexport itself harvested 27,823 metric tons of Atlantic salmon, a 42.5 percent year-on-year increase. The firm's coho salmon harvest was down 49 percent to 4,031 metric tons.

For the full 12-month period, Multiexport posted a $38.8 million (€33.1 million) operating loss compared with EBITDA of $83.5 million (€71.2 million).

Revenues in 2020 fell 16 percent over the previous year to $476 million (€405.9 million).

A forecasted double-digit contraction in Chilean salmon production in 2021 is expected to lead to a better year for producers, analysts predict.