Chile's seafood exports grew 19.6 percent in value in 2017

Published on
February 21, 2018

Chile’s Sub-Secretary of Fishing and Aquaculture (Subpesca) reported exports for the year totaling USD 5.68 billion (EUR 4.61 billion), a 19.6 percent increase over its exports in 2016, and 16 percent higher than the average of 2012-16.

According to the Subpesca report of preliminary harvest and export figures for 2017, the total harvest for the seafood sector totaled 1.15 million tons, an 18 percent increase over 2016. Of this amount, Atlantic salmon contributed the largest share, representing 50.6 percent of the harvest, followed by mussels (29.3 percent) and coho salmon (11.7 percent).

Chile’s production of Atlantic salmon also showed gains. The total harvest for the resource reached 582,000 tons in 2017, a 15.2 percent increase over 2016. Coho salmon also gained 35 percent year-over-year, to total 134,000 tons in 2017.

In value, Atlantic salmon fetched USD 3.12 billion (EUR 2.53 billion), a 17.5 percent increase in value compared to the previous year.

When considering only fish, Chile’s harvest reached 791,000 tons, a 16.9 percent increase over 2016, although down five percent compared to the average of 2014 and 2015. Farmed fish represent 68.7 percent of Chile’s total fish production in 2017.

Frozen products represented 51.3 percent of Chile’s total exports in 2017, while fishmeal accounted for 17.1 percent of exports and fresh refrigerated held a 16.8 percent share of shipments. The average FOB price for frozen products grew by 21.1 percent in 2017. 

The report included an analysis of export receiving markets, although only for January to November. In that period the United States, was the principal receiver of Chilean seafood products, accounting for 30.1 percent of total exports, and growing 19 percent in volume.

Japan ranked second with a 18.4 percent share, but showed a 39 percent increase in the volume of Chilean seafood it received in that period.

Following were Brazil (9.9 percent share), China (7.5 percent), Russia (5.2 percent), and Spain (3.4 percent).

Reporting from Santiago, Chile

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