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Ecuadorian tuna cans and Chilean salmon rank these countries as the main source markets

Official data on fishing activity

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 16:00 (GMT + 9)

The Situation Report of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries analyzes the October landings and September exports of all species of commercial interest. Both in catches and sales, squid, rays and haddock increased while hake and shrimp fell.

The report prepared by the Undersecretariat of Fisheries shows a drop of just 2% for landings from January to October compared to the same period of the previous year. But the figure does not fully represent what has happened during 2020, given that while the catches, sales and the price of squid increased, the other two main species, shrimp and hake, suffered heavy losses in all aspects. The fresqueros were the ones that caught the highest volume of fish and Mar del Plata was the port that grew the most in landings compared to 2019, a miracle in a pandemic. Other ports did not suffer the same fate, such as San Antonio Oeste and Este, which were directly eliminated from the 2020 statistic due to the irrelevant level of landings they had. A striking fact is the increase in catches and sales of species that are biologically protected.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

According to official data as of October 31, 2020, 662,192 tons have been landed, which represents a drop of just two points compared to the previous year. But when we begin to see in detail how each species has behaved, it can be seen that squid is the only resource from which large volumes are extracted that has grown.

In addition to squid that grew 76% with almost 169 thousand tons unloaded in 2020, about 20 thousand tons were contributed by trawlers. At the other extreme are the shrimp that registered a drop of 22%, with landings of 143,400 tons; and hubbsi hake which, with 215,700 tonnes landed, reduced its catches by 19% compared to last year.

As for the rest of the species, it is observed that in black hake the fall in landings was 7% with almost 10,000 tons landed and in crab the drop was 6% with almost 1,500 tons.

Other species, on the other hand, have shown better results than last year. The anchovy did not achieve a catch level like that of 2018 but improved by 178% when unloaded compared to 2019 with 5,800 tons declared. Mackerel, with about 12 thousand tons, has had the best of its last three years growing 131%. The Polish also had a year with 144% higher catches, with 7,750 tons unloaded.

It is striking that resources on which there are strong restrictive measures to protect them have also increased landings, as in the case of rays, which grew by 8% with 11 thousand tons landed; the scallop, which increased by 43% with almost 4 thousand tons declared or the pollock, which with 2,600 tons has increased landings by 49%.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

The fleet and ports

The fresh boats have been the stratum of the fleet that has registered the highest levels of catches with more than 168 thousand tons, followed by the jiggers with 148 thousand tons and in third place the trawler freezers that registered landings of almost 132 thousand tons. The coastal ones surpassed the tangoneros in landings, registering the first almost 93 thousand and the second 54 thousand tons. Those of roads or estuaries contribute little more than 28 thousand tons.

The activity of the ports shows Mar del Plata as the undisputed leader in landings, with 2020 being the best of the last three years with 338 thousand tons. Puerto Madryn follows with 116 thousand tons, which maintained the level of landings of last year; and in third place, Puerto Deseado with 45 thousand tons had the worst of the last three years. Rawson is the shipping station that follows on the list with 44 thousand tons, a figure similar to that of 2019. Ushuaia with almost 37 thousand tons also remained at the levels of landings of last year and the same happened with Shrimp that registered 12 thousand tons . But Caleta Olivia and Comodoro Rivadavia lowered the level of landings by approximately 10,000 tons. The ports of Río Negro, this year, are not even included in the statistics.


The total number of exports was 379,180 tons for 1,278 million dollars, an increase in volume of 5% but a decrease in collection of 7.4% that is explained by the fall in sales of higher value products such as whole shrimp and a general decline in prices. Except for squid, pollock and rays, sales of all species were down.

Squid grew in sales by 71% in tonnes and 83% in revenue, since, unlike what happened with most species, the price increased by 7%.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

93% were sold whole at a price almost 10% higher than last year. Of manufactured products, only 7% of the total was sold, which shows low reprocessing, perhaps even below the mandatory requirement. It is difficult to know because the Fisheries Authority is reluctant to make the data public.

It would be a shame if the obligations contracted were not fulfilled, not only because of the workforce that is not employed but also because of the difference in value that exists between one product and another. Pods, for example, double the value of the whole, as do tentacles.

The stingray, which is part of the list of internationally protected species, increased its sales 17% in volume and 34% in dollars, given that there was an average price increase of 15%. The snout ray was the one that grew the most in sales volume.

In the case of pollock, a species protected by risk of overexploitation, sales increased by 42% in tonnes but it was sold at a 12% lower value; therefore, the increase in collection was 25%.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

Hubbsi hake sales fell 14% in volume and 25% in revenue, as the average price suffered a 13% drop. The strongest impact was felt in fillets, which fell 11% in tons sold and 22% in collection, because the price dropped 12.5%. In the case of integer or H&G, 6% less in volume was sold and the collection fell 15% because the price fell 9%.

Shrimp was exported 23% less in volume and collected 26% less due to the drop in the average price of 3.4% in the general figures. But the discrimination by type of product shows that the whole shrimp was the only one that supported the weight, it was sold 43% less in tons and 48% less was collected because the price fell on average 8%. The sale of colas and other presentations that are mostly made by fresqueros, increased in volume of sales by 10% and although the price fell by almost 8%, by dint of volume it was possible to increase revenue by almost 2%.

Hke sales fell by 44% in volume and 48.5% in dollars, also due to a drop in the price, in this case of 8%, always compared to 2019 values. The price of Patagonian toothfish fell by fifteen%; therefore, the 10% drop in volume represented a 24% drop in collection. In the case of spider crab, sales volume and collection fell in a similar way, around 18%, since the price only fell a little more than one point.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

The markets

China this year practically did not buy shrimp but it supplied a large part of the squid that came out of the Argentine Sea and that is why it remained in first place in the list of the main markets, with 97 thousand tons for 318 million dollars. Spain, which is supplied in Argentina with species with higher value and despite having bought much less than in other years, remains in second place with 46 thousand tons for 205 million dollars.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

This situation is repeated between different markets that have demanded in volume more than others but in foreign currency they were placed much lower. The United States, which came in third place, required just less than 17 thousand tons and paid 107 million dollars, while Republican Korea bought 24 thousand tons but spent 70 million dollars, ranking fifth.

In the fourth was Italy with 15 thousand tons for which it paid 74 million dollars and in the sixth Japan that with the same volume paid 63 million dollars. Brazil was in seventh place among the main Argentine fishing markets, with almost the same values ​​and volumes that were traded with Russia.

Finally, the report refers to imports, which have registered an increase of a single point and with a 14% lower investment, due to the drop in the price, especially of canned preparations and fresh fish that are the main products required by Argentines. Ecuadorian tuna cans and Chilean salmon rank these countries as the main source markets.

Author: Karina Fernandez / Revista Puerto

[email protected]


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