Chile will be taking on Norway for the US market, said SalmonChile President Cesar Barros. (Photo: SalmonChile/FIS)
Salmon producers look to reconquer US market
Thursday, February 11, 2010, 01:10 (GMT + 9)
Chile's salmon industry will attempt to recapture the market of the United States, announced the president of the Chilean Salmon Industry Association AG (SalmonChile), Cesar Barros.
Chile is the second leading salmon producer in the world, behind Norway, but the sector has faced a severe economic and sanitary crisis caused by outbreaks of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus in several domestic farming centres since 2007.
“Chile holds second place and obviously the Norwegians, who are the leaders, will fight us for the market of the United States, which is the most important for Atlantic salmon, and we are going to have to reconquer it, looking for the best way to compete,” Barros said in an interview with Estrategia.
In terms of the delay in the approval of changes to the new General Fisheries and Aquaculture Law (LGPA), the union leader maintained that there are many investments and credits pending issuance by the Production Development Corporation (CORFO).
“Concerning companies and capitals, they are awaiting anxiously to participate in the business here in the country and they are not going to do it until the legal regime offers them full security,” he indicated.
“We have a project with the Banks Association and the suppliers, which is co-funded by CORFO, and bears relation to private audits of salmon farming companies, to verify that they are fulfilling the sanitary norms,” Barros explained.
In terms of the high values of salmon, the executive linked this situation to lower Chilean production and revealed that it will change when the national industry recovers. “It will happen when we again make a bid for the North American market, since a tough competition with the Norwegians is going to develop,” he emphasised.
With respect to the state of Chilean aquaculture in the period between this year and 2011, Barros warns that this year is going to reap smaller production than 2009, “due to the cycle and the low sowings there were last year.” In his opinion, it is probable that sowings begin to pick up as from the second half of 2010, which would allow production to begin to increase in 2011. “Nonetheless, that does not mean that the normal levels of 2007 are taken up again,” he clarified.
“To recover that, we are going to take much more time, because all the new norms that have been passed aim at a lower production, given the installed capacity that exists. We do not have a set estimation, nevertheless, it is going to depend on the results of the measures that we are taking, how the matter of the Law of Fisheries and Aquaculture ends up, how fast all the sanitary norms are executed and how swiftly the funding reaches the system,” concluded the president of SalmonChile.
In other news, salmonid exports reached a value of USD 2.068 billion in 2009, reveals a report by the National Customs Service. This amount represents a fall of 13 per cent in relation to the previous year, when it totalled USD 2.369 billion.
However, the loss in overseas shipments was not as steep as was expected, given that a fall of around 30 per cent in salmon production was projected in the Monthly Foreign Trade Report of the Customs Service.
- Salmon exports fall less than projected
By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member SalmonChile - Asociación de la Industria del Salmón A.G