Chilean salmon exports inch up in H1 2023, but low prices cloud industry’s future

A Chilean salmon farm.

Chilean farmed salmon and trout exports increased – though just slightly – during the first half of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022, the Chilean Salmon Council reported in its latest “Quarterly Salmon Export Report.”

Chile’s exports of salmon and trout reached 373,734 metric tons (MT) in H1 2023, a 2 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2022. The value of those exports totaled USD 3.31 billion (EUR 3.03 billion), also a 2 percent bump.

The Chilean Salmon Council’s members include the salmon-farming companies AquaChile, Australis, Cermaq, Mowi, and Salmones Aysén, which together comprise more than half of Chilean salmon production, and its recent report references information from Chile’s Central Bank and the National Customs Service.

“We see an industry that is expanding but at very moderate levels, and in a competitive world, those who do not advance fall behind,” Salmon Council Executive Director Loreto Seguel said in a release.

Chile’s salmon production, which takes place principally in the southern regions of Los Lagos, Aysén, and Magallanes, is a significant job generator and is the country’s second-largest export sector, following the mining industry. Salmon represented 15.5 percent of the country’s total non-mining exports by value through the first six months of the year, according to the council’s calculations, a slightly better performance than the 2017 to 2022 average of 14.9 percent.

However, the industry did not manage to reach its total from H1 2020, when Chile exported 381,735 MT of salmon and trout.

Chile’s Q1 2023 exporters were

Photo courtesy of Chilean Salmon Marketing Council

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