Chile’s 2022 salmon exports jump to USD 6.6 billion despite “moderate” volume growth

A salmon farm near Llanquihue National Park, Chile.

Chile’s salmon farms shipped a total of USD 6.6 billion (EUR 6.1 billion) in salmon and trout abroad in 2022, up 27.3 percent from the year before, the Chilean Salmon Council reported.

Salmon has traditionally been Chile’s second most-important export after copper (exports of USD 43.9 billion, EUR 40.3 billion in 2022), but in 2022, it was relegated to third place as demand rocketed up for lithium by an astounding 777 percent, with Chile’s exports of the mineral reaching USD 7.76 billion (EUR 7.13 billion). In 2022, shipments of salmon and trout represented 6.8 percent of Chile’s total exports, and 12.3 percent when considering only non-copper goods.

The Chilean Salmon Council, a trade group that includes AquaChile, Australis, Cermaq, Mowi, and Salmones Aysén, together representing more than half of Chilean salmon production by volume, said factors including the current regulatory framework governing maximum sowing densities and the administrative processes for renewal and approval of concessions, as well as productive challenges to be addressed by the industry such as investment in R&D and innovation, had acculumated to slow production.

The increase in the value of Chile's salmon imports, it said, were driven mostly by higher international salmon prices, caused by a rise in the cost of inputs for salmon production, greater global demand, and the lack of harvest growth, which impacted salmon supply, Chilean Salmon Council Executive Director Loreto Seguel told SeafoodSource. In volume terms, Chile’s salmon and trout exports reached a total of ...

Photo courtesy of ausfilms/Shutterstock

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