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Chiles Salmon and Trout Sales Continue to Boom

CHILE - Chiles farmed firm producers are celebrating their latest export figures. Chiles aquaculture industry (salmon, and to a lesser degree trout) continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

In January and February Chile exported some US$497 million worth of salmon and trout, reported SalmonChile, the country’s principal farmed fish producers’ agency. This represents a 29 percent increase over the same two-month period last year. SalmonChile attributes the earnings spike to higher prices in Chile’s primary farmed fish markets: Japan, the United States and the European Union.

Sales to Japan – which buys more than 40 percent of Chilean farmed fish – reached US$213 million during the first two months of the year, a 20 percent increase over 2006. The United States, Chile’s number two customer, bought roughly US$150 million worth of salmon and trout in the January-February period, a 32 percent increase.

While certainly welcomed by the country’s salmon producers, the glowing earnings figures are nothing new in Chile, which in the past two decades has seen its once nascent aquaculture industry grow exponentially. In 1991 Chile exported approximately US$159 million worth of salmon and trout. Export earnings last year, in contrast, topped out at US$2.2 billion, 28 percent more than in 2005. Chile is now the world’s second leading farmed fish producer, just behind Norway. Producers, furthermore, expect the industry growth to continue.

The country’s booming aquaculture industry, nevertheless, has not been without its critics. Environmentalists, international trade partners and consumers have all expressed concern that Chilean fish farming may in fact be growing too fast and with too little serious oversight.

Source: The Santiago Times

the Fish Site Editor

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