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Salmon Bogs Down Seafood Export Value

CHILE - Chilean wild fish and aquaculture exports generated $2.91 billion in sales through the ninth month of the year, just 4.9 per cent over the $3.06 billion registered in the same period in 2008, Fisheries Subsecretariat (SUBPESCA) statistics reveal.

Nonetheless, exports rose 11.8 per cent in terms of volume from January to September, in rising from 1,050,740 tonnes in the same period of 2008 to 1,175,150 tonnes this year, states the latest SUBPESCA Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Report.

Sales of fishmeal and frozen seafood products were the largest contributors in terms of volume in accounting for 45.4 per cent and 34 per cent of total seafood sales, respectively. Refrigerated fresh products, fish oil, dry algae and canned fish were ranked second, third, fourth and fifth.

The average price of seafood exports through September was $2.5 per kg, a value 14.9 per cent less than 2008’s first nine months.

Atlantic salmon was the most exported product with 30.1 per cent of the total value of Chilean export sales. Rainbow trout, pelagic fish and Pacific salmon were next in terms of value.

Chilean fish products are exported to 114 countries, nine of which serve as the mainstay market destinations for 78.3 per cent of total exports. Among the latter group, Japan and the United States stood out, with combined sales representing 44.5 per cent in value; followed by China and Spain.

An estimated 788,000 tonnes of wild seafood product exports generated a total of $1.167 billion through September. This amount represents a 12.8 per cent positive variation compared to the same period of last year, SUBPESCA’s bulletin discloses.

Export sales of fishmeal through September totalled 533,500 tonnes worth $515.4 million, up from last year’s 393,300 tonnes, valued at $407.3 million. China, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, and Denmark were the main markets for the category; shipments to Germany, however, registered a decline this year.

Some 46.2 per cent of total exports was of prime quality fishmeal, 36 per cent of super prime, and 16.6 per cent of standard quality, SUBPESCA data indicates.

Export sales of frozen seafood products totalled $406.8 million through September, a 9.2 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2008.

The main markets for these products were Japan, the United States and Venezuela, which accounted for 18.1 per cent, 15.8 per cent and 15.3 per cent of destination market shares, respectively.

Canned product export sales from January to September totalled $102.3 million, 15.1 per cent less than a year before.

The main markets for these were Sri Lanka, Spain, and the US, which accounted for 19.6 per cent, 16.6 per cent and 10.1 per cent of the total destination market share, respectively.

Aquaculture sector exports represented 59.9 per cent of the value and 33 per cent of the total exported volume through September, with almost $1.742 million and 387,240 tonnes. Meanwhile, last year’s tally reached $2.023 billion and 466,160 tonnes. The current estimate reflects a fall of 11.5 per cent in sectorial growth compared to the same 2008 period.

Atlantic salmon represented 50.3 per cent of the aquaculture sector’s export value, and reflected a decline of 22.1 per cent through September. It was followed by rainbow trout, pacific salmon, mussels, the s/e salmon group, seaweed and Northern scallop.

the Fish Site Editor

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