December 2, 2009

Chile seafood exports value down slightly in September


Chilean wild fish and aquaculture exports generated US$2.91 billion in sales through September, down 4.9 percent against US$3.06 billion raked in the same period in 2008, Fisheries Subsecretariat (SUBPESCA) statistics reveal.

According to the latest SUBPESCA reports, exports rose 11.8 percent in terms of volume from January to September, in rising from 1.05 million tonnes in the same period of 2008 to 1.17 million tonnes this year.

Sales of fishmeal and frozen seafood products were the largest contributors in terms of volume in accounting for 45.4 percent and 34 percent of total seafood sales, respectively.

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

Atlantic salmon was the most exported product with 30.1 percent 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 major market destinations for 78.3 percent of total exports. Among the latter group, Japan and the US stood out, with combined sales representing 44.5 percent in value; followed by China and Spain.

An estimated 788,000 tonnes of wild seafood product exports generated a total of US$1.167 billion through September. This amount represents a 12.8-percent positive variation compared to the same period of last year.

Export sales of fishmeal through September totalled 533,500 tonnes worth US$515.4 million, up from last year's 393,300 tonnes, valued at US$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.

Export sales of frozen seafood products totalled US$406.8 million through September, a 9.2-percent growth compared to the same period in 2008. The main markets for these products were Japan, the US and Venezuela, which accounted for 18.1 percent, 15.8 percent and 15.3 percent of destination market shares, respectively.

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

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

Aquaculture sector exports represented 59.9 percent of the value and 33 percent of the total exported volume through September, with almost US$1.742 million and 387,240 tonnes.

Meanwhile, last year's tally reached US$2.023 billion and 466,160 tonnes. The current estimate reflects a fall of 11.5 percent in sectorial growth compared to the same 2008 period.

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