June 1, 2010


Chilean Q1 seafood exports take a downturn


Chilean wild fish and aquaculture exports reached US$849 million in sales during the first three months of 2010, signalling an 18% loss from the same period last year.


The volume exported during the first quarter of the year fell 29.7%, from 349,950 tonnes in January and March of 2009 to 246,170 tonnes this year, the Fisheries Subsecretariat (SUBPESCA) disclosed.


This decline was due mainly to a 31.2% dip in frozen fish products and a 393% plunge in fishmeal, according to SUBPESCA.


The main export product was Pacific salmon, which constituted 22.2% of total overseas sales, followed by Rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, the pelagics group, and jack mackerel.


Chilean fish products were exported to 93 countries, nine of which serve as the mainstay market destinations for 81.8% of total exports. Among them, Japan, the US, and China stand out.


In terms of the wild capture sector, the accumulated value of its 130,000 tonnes of seafood exports between January and March reached US$254.9 million, down 7% on-year.


A total of 70,770 tonnes of fishmeal worth US$112.4 million were sold in Q1 this year, compared with 116,650 tonnes a year before, to major destination markets including China, Spain, South Korea and Canada.


Aquaculture sector represented 70% of the total exports value and 46.9% of the total volume in the first quarter of this year. Nearly 115,000 tonnes worth US$594 million were sold. These figures represent declines of 22% in value and 33.4% in volume compared with the same period of 2009.