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Double-Digit Fall in Chile's Salmon Harvest

CHILE - Statistics for the first half-year of 2009 reveal that the total harvest of salmon and trout was 17 per cent lower than the same period of last year. On the same comparison, exports were up by 26 per cent in volume and 5.6 per cent in US dollar value.

Production of salmonids and eggs

Chile's total salmon harvest totaled 240,000 tons this first half-year of 2009, representing a fall of 16.6 per cent compared to the same period of 2008. The figures are submitted by the Chilean Fisheries Under-Secretariat and reported by FishFarmingXpert.

Comparison of results itemized by specie shows a decrease of 24.2 per cent in Atlantic salmon harvests to 119,615 tons a 12.5 per cent drop in rainbow trout harvests to 74,619 tons and an increase of 2.8 per cent in Coho salmon harvests to 45,773 tons.

Local egg production amounted to 222.3 million for the same period, comprising 57.9 million Atlantic salmon eggs, 106.8 million coho salmon eggs, 1.1 million king salmon eggs and 56.5 million rainbow trout eggs.

Meanwhile, imports of eggs reached 106.8 million in the same period.

Exports grow 5.6 per cent in first six months

FIS reports that Chilean wild fish and aquaculture exports generated US$2.021 billion in sales in the first half of 2009, which represents an increase of 5.6 per cent compared to the US$1.913 billion registered in the same period in 2008. The statistics were published by Fisheries Subsecretariat (SUBPESCA).

In terms of volume, exports rose 25.7 per cent from 662,500 tonnes in the first six months of 2008 to 832,500 tonnes from January to June, states the latest SUBPESCA Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Report.

Sales of frozen seafood products and fishmeal were the largest contributors in terms of volume in accounting for 45.4 per cent and 33.5 per cent of total seafood sales, respectively. Fish oil, refrigerated fresh products, dry algae and canned fish took second, third, fourth and fifth place.

The average price of seafood exports through June was US$2.40 per kilo – 15.9 per cent less than 2008's first six months.

Atlantic salmon was the most exported product with 30 per cent of the total value of Chilean export sales, according to FIS. Rainbow trout, pelagic fish and Pacific salmon were next in terms of value.

Chilean fish products are exported to 104 countries, nine of which serve as the mainstay market destinations for 80.6 per cent of total exports.

Among the latter group, Japan and the United States stood out, with combined sales representing 46.7 per cent in value, followed by China, Spain and Germany.

An estimated 540,000 tonnes of wild seafood product exports generated a total of US$746.7 million through June.

This amount represents a 35.7 per cent positive variation compared to the same period of last year, SUBPESCA's bulletin discloses.

Export sales of fishmeal through June totalled 378,200 tonnes worth USD 354.8 million, up from last year's 239,500 tonnes, valued at USD 238.8 million. China, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, Denmark and Germany were the main markets for the category; shipments to Italy, however, fell this year.

According to SUBPESCA, 53.7 per cent of total exports was of prime quality fishmeal, 24.6 per cent of super prime, and 20.4 per cent of standard quality, data indicates.

Export sales of frozen seafood products totalled US$227.1 million in the first half of 2009, a 55.7 per cent surge compared to the same period in 2008, according to FIS.

The main markets for these products were Venezuela, the United States and Nigeria, which accounted for 20.2 per cent, 19.4 per cent and 16.5 per cent of destination market shares, respectively.

Canned product export sales from January to June totalled US$64.8 million, just 4.2 per cent less than a year before.

The main markets for these were Sri Lanka, Spain and the US, which accounted for 24.3 per cent, 16.6 per cent and 10.1 per cent of the total destination market share, respectively.

Some 41,000 tonnes of fresh refrigerated seafood products worth US$260 million were exported between January and June. These figures indicate losses of 27.5 per cent and 25.0 per cent, respectively, compared to the same quarter of 2008, when 56,500 tonnes worth US$346.5 million were shipped abroad.

Aquaculture sector exports represented 63.1 per cent of the value and 35.3 per cent of the total exported volume through June, with almost US$1.274 million and 294,000 tonnes. The current estimate reflects a fall of 6.5 per cent in sectorial growth compared to the same 2008 period.

the Fish Site Editor

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