April 1, 2010


Chilean seafood exports down 8.2% in January



Wild fish and aquaculture exports from Chile generated US$358.2 million in sales in January, 8.2% down from the US$390.1 million registered in the same period in 2009.


According to Fisheries Subsecretariat (SUBPESCA) statistics, the volume exported during the first month of the year also dropped, falling 20.6% from 126,340 tonnes in January 2009 to 100,300 tonnes this year.


Sales of frozen seafood products and fishmeal were most voluminous representing 53.4% and 22% of the total, respectively, according to statistics. Fresh refrigerated products were located next, followed by fishoil, canned products and dry algae.


The average price of exported seafood products in January was US$3.60 per kilogramme, a 16% hike over the US$3.10 of the first month of 2009.


Statistics also showed that the main exported product was Pacific salmon, which constituted 32% of the total value of overseas sales. Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, pelagic fish, jack mackerel and southern hake were not far behind.


Chilean fish products were exported to 76 countries, nine of which serve as the mainstay market destinations for 83% of total exports. Among them, Japan, the US, China and Spain stand out.


In terms of the wild capture sector, the accumulated value of its 49,800 tonnes of seafood exports in January reached US$101.2 million, which indicates a negative variation of 2% compared with the same month of the previous year.


This past January, 22,038 tonnes of fishmeal worth US$32.4 million were sold overseas, whereas a year before, 49,079 tonnes worth US$44 million had been exported. The major destination markets of fishmeal were China, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Canada.


Some 43.9%% of total exports were of prime quality fishmeal, 38% of super prime, and 16.4% of standard quality, SUBPESCA disclosed.


Overseas sales of frozen seafood products totalled US$38.9 million, which translated into an increase of 3.7% with respect to January 2009. These products were shipped mainly to Spain, the US and Japan, which accounted for 22%, 18.9% and 10.9% of destination market shares, respectively.


As far as canned products, sales made in January added up to US$13 million, 56.3% more than a year before. The main markets were Sri Lanka, Spain and Belgium, with 28.7%, 25.4% and 6.2%, respectively, in destination market shares.


Fresh refrigerated products worth US$37.6 million were exported in January 2010, a figure that reflects a loss of 26.4% with respect to the same month of 2009. The US and Brazil absorbed the majority of these shipments from the wild capture sector.