Camanchaca to leave New World Currents

Santiago, Chile-based aquaculture and fish farmer Camanchaca announced it will be leaving New World Currents (NWC) – the commercial joint venture between itself, Blumar, Marine Farm, and Cultivos Yadran to sell in China – and go solo in distributing to the country, as of 1 May.

“We have had a good experience with NWC partners, and this organization positions itself as a relevant player in China,” Camanchaca CEO Ricardo García Holtz said. “However, Camanchaca has its own capabilities in Asia and allows us to unleash our commercial strategy effectively, oriented to niches and segments through value-added products, brands and close relationships, which are natural to address from our own sales platform.”

The ability to act in a more flexible and agile manner, addressing the Chinese market with more value-added products, was key in the company’s decision to leave the joint venture, García Holtz added. Camanchaca will distribute directly in China under its own brand, Pier 33.

The move marks the departure of the second founding member from the JV, which was formed in 2013, in the past few months. In December 2019, Santiago-based salmon farming firm Australis Seafoods announced its exit from New World Currents after it was purchased for USD 922 million (EUR 820 million) by Chinese foodservice giant Joyvio, a subsidiary of Beijing-headquartered Legend Holdings, one of the largest companies in the world.

The joint venture reportedly grew to represent 33 percent of Chile’s salmon sales in China. With the exit of Australis, this share fell to 25 percent; now, with Camanchaca leaving, New World Currents will represent about 18 percent of Chile’s total sales in China.

Calling Camanchaca’s departure “a pity,” New World Current Executive Director Eduardo Goycoolea said that the consortium’s production of close to 18 percent of total salmon from Chile will guarantee stable business continuity in China, Salmonexpert reported. While the JV had previously operated through a subsidiary in Hong Kong with commercial agents, Goycoolea highlighted the fact that the company New World Currents China was established a few months ago to import and sell products locally, with CEO Nicolás Terrazas going to live in the country to oversee growth.

The companies will look to reactivate sales in the Asian giant after trade group SalmonChile completely suspended shipments to China in February in response to the spread of coronavirus.

In Chile itself, Camanchaca said earlier this month it had harvested 13,902 metric tons (MT) of salmon during the first quarter of the year, about 10 percent off of original estimates, due to a slowdown in the last two weeks of March from the implementation of measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.  


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