Export of Chilean salmon broke record in the first quarter

Published on 20 June 2019

The high prices and the stability in the aquaculture harvest have allowed the forceful advance of the product.

Along with wood derivatives, salmon is the main non-mining product in Chile's export portfolio. For this reason, each positive variation in the results of its sales at an international level is excellent news for its economy.

And this could not be more opportune in an environment full of uncertainty for the price of copper. The trade war between the United States and China has led to revise the projections of the price of the red metal, which could be 5% to 15% higher had not been the escalation of tariffs between the two major economies of the world, as reported by the president of Antofagasta Minerals to Reuters, agency to which he mentioned that the uncertainty would continue.

In contrast, the price of salmon has remained at a good level, and it is expected that record levels will be reached this year. According to information from the investment bank Pareto Securities cited by the portal Aqua.cl, it could have an average value of US $ 7.49 per pound this year (also the highest in history), mainly as a result of a supply level global.

In parallel, the salmon harvest in Chile is on the rise, and is expected to grow around 3%, according to the bank. In the following chart, you can see the evolution of the values of the shipments during the first three months of each year:

In terms of destinations, it is worth highlighting the diversification of important destinations, which has made it possible to meet the drop in shipments from Norway. Also, as highlighted in a note from El Mercurio, China still does not have high per capita consumption, but has the potential to become a more important market for the export of Chilean salmon.

For the moment, production continues to consolidate, after overcoming a health crisis that hindered the explosion of an industry that already had large dimensions. Now, the challenge is in health, productivity and the reach of high-value markets, such as those who pay to receive the product by air to obtain it in better conditions, such as the United States and China.

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