Forecaster Kontali cuts global 2018 salmon output growth to 4 pct

OSLO, March 8 (Reuters) -

* Global salmon output is set to grow by 4 pct in 2018 compared to a 5 pct estimate made in mid-February and an initial forecast of 7-8 pct seen 2-3 months ago, analyst Lars Daniel Garshol at industry forecaster Kontali said on Thursday

* The new forecasts were first released at a seafood conference on Wednesday afternoon

* Output growth from the world’s biggest producer, Norway, was cut to 6 percent from 7-8 percent, Garshol said

* Output from Chile, the Faroe Islands and Scotland was also cut

* High output in recent months has resulted in lower growth forecasts throughout the year

* In Norway, cold sea temperatures in January and February, which are expected to continue in March and April, and somewhat higher fish mortality rates in January, have contributed to the cut in growth expectations

* Still, overall 2018 supply growth could nevertheless hit 7-8 percent, compared to an initiate forecast of 8-9 percent, as frozen fish is sold from storage, he added

* In recent weeks, salmon prices have risen on expectations for lower growth in supply

* Leading producers in Norway include Marine Harvest, Salmar, Leroy Seafood, Grieg Seafood and Norway Royal Salmon

* Big producers in Chile are Multiexport Foods, Camanchaca, Invermar and Australis Seafoods (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)