Chile's fisheries exports reached 1.24 billion US dollars during the first ten months of 2006, which represents a 7.9% increase over the same period a year ago according to the country's National Fisheries Society, Sonapesca.
Total fisheries overseas sales are estimated to reach 1.5 billion US dollars in 2006. The increase was mainly because of improved international prices since the volume exported was actually less with a global decrease of 18.9%, more than compensated by price increases ranging from 11 to 53%, with the exception of shell fish. Fish meal currently selling at 1.169 US dollars a ton is 11% less than in September which signaled a record 1.307 US dollars, but overall the price is 53% above on average to a year ago reports Sonapesca. Similarly with Chilean jurel or Inca scad (Trachurus Murphyi) for human consumption both frozen and tinned, with exports increasing 10 and 14.9% respectively with an overall price surge of 25%. As to 2007, Sonapesca reports that fishing quotas have virtually remained at their 2006 levels with the exception of Inca scad which increased from 1.4 to 1.6 million tons and austral hake which was cut in 5%. "In 2007 several factors will have an influence, mainly prices and production volumes which could suffer the impact of natural phenomena such as the El Niño current. If production volumes remain at the same level in 2007, overall sales could be slightly higher because of strong prices for fish meal and fish oil, which should be felt in a better annual average", said Federico Silva, president of Sonapesca.