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Trout Market Mixed

GLOBAL - The European trout market was hoping for an increase in average trout prices during the latter half of 2007, as the industry went from a period of flat sales into one of short supply and heavy demand from smokehouses for the Christmas period.

Trout market trends vary across the world. 2007 offered mixed fortunes.

Promotional campaigns, particularly in France, were aimed at the retail sector during the autumn.

Worldwide Production of rainbow trout increased by 20 per cent in Sweden last year (2006), and this species accounted for 90 per cent of aquaculture output. Total trout production was just over 6,000 tonnes, with a value of 158 million SEK.

Spain launched new rules for organic trout production in 2007, which is associated with a quality brand AENOR. Producers hope that the new brand will help them to increase recognition by consumers and to grow the market.

Struggle

On the other side of the world, trout farmers in Ecuador are struggling to increase production. Current export demand from the US is for around 100 tonnes per month, but production is stable at around 50 tonnes.

Export sales of rainbow trout from Chile were up 23 per cent in the first six months of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006. Japan was the main market for frozen trout, with a value of US$ 210 million. Production in 2007/2008 is expected to increase by 8 per cent to 150,000 tonnes.

Panama is also increasing production, in line with growing demand from the European market and one company, Tizingal Rainbow Trout, aims to export 5 million pounds per year by 2015. In Peru, trout accounted for 6,163 tonnes of the country’s land-based aquaculture production of 6,883 tonnes during 2006.

Developments

Several new developments in trout farming look set to increase production levels of this species. In Turkey, rainbow trout is now being produced along with salmon, in a floating fish farm in the Marmara Sea. Denizsan Denizcilik AS plans to use converted bulk tankers to farm a number of species, and to move them close to the markets. The fish will be processed and frozen onboard.

Meanwhile, Japanese scientists have successfully bred rainbow trout from salmon using surrogate salmon broodstock, and they hope to refine and develop the technique to breed endangered species such as tuna in the same way.

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Ellen Hardy

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