May 4, 2010


Chilean seafood exports down 7.6%



Wild fish and aquaculture exports from Chile reached US$642.5 million in sales through the two first months of 2010, a loss of 7.6% against the same period of 2009, when US$695.2 million was generated.


The volume exported during the first two months of the year also declined, down 18%, from 223,368 tonnes in January and February 2009 to 183,077 tonnes this year, revealed the Fisheries Subsecretariat (SUBPESCA).


This decline was produced mainly by a decline of 38.6% in fishmeal, which was accompanied by falls in frozen and fresh refrigerated lines, according to SUBPESCA's latest report.


Sales of frozen seafood products and fishmeal were the most voluminous, in representing 48.1% and 26.2% of the total, respectively. Fresh refrigerated products were listed next, followed by fish oil, canned products and dry algae.


The average price of exported seafood products in January and February was US$3.50 per kilogramme, a 12.8% hike over the same two first months of 2009.


According to SUBPESCA statistics, the main exported product was Pacific salmon, which constituted 26.3% of the total value of overseas sales. Rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, the pelagics group, and jack mackerel followed behind.


Chilean fish products were exported to 76 countries, nine of which serve as the mainstay market destinations for 82% of total exports. Among them, Japan, the US, and China stand out.


In terms of the wild capture sector, the accumulated value of its seafood exports (94,500 tonnes) reached US$184.7 million between January and February 2010, which indicates a positive variation of 6.3% as compared to the same two months of the previous year.


In the first two months of the year, 47,878 tonnes of fishmeal worth US$74.2 million were sold overseas, whereas a year before, 78,021 tonnes worth US$71 million had been exported.


The major destination markets of fishmeal were China, Spain, South Korea and Canada.


Some 85.6% of total exports were of prime and super prime quality fishmeal, and 13% of standard quality.


Overseas sales of frozen seafood products totalled US$55.7 million, which translated into an decline of 4.9% with respect to January and February 2009. These products were shipped mainly to the US, Spain and Peru, which accounted for 22.6%, 20.1% and 14.1% of destination market shares, respectively.


As far as canned products, sales made in the first two months of 2010 added up to US$22.5 million, 13.5% more than a year before. The main markets were Sri Lanka, Spain and the US, with 33.9%, 19.7% and 5.5%, respectively.

Fresh refrigerated products worth US$74.4 million were exported in January and February 2010, a figure that reflects a loss of 22.1% with respect to the same months of 2009. The US and Brazil absorbed the majority of these shipments from the wild capture sector, SUBPESCA reports.