A first release on Argentina's fisheries exports for 2021, shows an improvement over 2020, and even 2019. However the significant information is that prices for a majority of species during last year were down, even when in the first weeks of 2022, according to the Argentine Chamber of fishing vessels, CAPECA, most prices tend to recover except for Illex squid.
In 2021 total exports reached 515.000 tons equivalent to almost US$ 2bn (US$ 1.990 million to be more exact), a 3,2% increase in volume and 15% in income compared to 2020. Also taking into account 2019, numbers are positive, 7% increase in income because of better prices for shrimp and 5% in tonnage with higher squid catches.
However with the exception of hake and shrimp all species prices were down on average, squid one of the worst. Shrimp prices were exceptional compensating for the overall fall and representing almost half of sales abroad in value.
For example, hake demand was up 10% and income 17% with a price increase of 6%. Hake volume exports reached 239,000 tons at an average price of US$ 2,334 the ton. Shrimp experienced a 27% demand increase and 44% in income. This compares with 2020, when catches were 50% less and a considerable price collapse.
As to squid, following an exceptional 2020 with record catches and excellent sales and price, in 2021 the volume exported was down 18% and income down 37%, while the price fell 23%. Overall 120,000 tons were exported at US$ 2,059 the ton. Only 9% of squid was processed and 6,000 tons of mantle were sold at US$ 3,315 the ton.
Kingclip exports 2021 grew 16% in volume 2021 but 15% lower in income. Total exports reached 1,311 tons at an average ton price of US$ 4,365
Toothfish exports were 14% up in volume but 10% down in income, since the average ton price was 4% lower. Total volume sales was 3,204 tons with an income of US$ 47 million at an average price of US$ 14,627 a ton, with exceptional prices last December, US$ 23,410 the ton.
Skate exports dropped 36% in volume and 52% in income since the average price was down 25%. Total sales 4,000 tons with an income of US$ 10 million. Croaker on the other hand had a positive performance with 28,500 tons at an average US$ 1,342, (9% higher) and a 25% increase in income
Client countries, Spain, Italy, US, China and Brazil. Russia figures in sixth place having taken 5% of volume generating 2% in income, while Ukraine 2% and 1% respectively. As to fisheries imports to Argentina, they were mainly fresh salmon, and tinned mollusks, with a 14% increase in volume but 40% dearer than in 2020.
A preliminary report from CAPECA indicates that during January 2022, Argentina exported 16,641 tons of fish produce generating US$ 110 million, 7,8% higher than in 2021, mainly because of shrimp of which Argentina is enjoying boom catches. Sales of hake fillets was down 33% and income 22% given a price increase of 17%, with an average ton price of US$ 3,173 and the main client Brazil.
Finally squid sales in January compared to a year ago were up 19%, but with an 18% fall in price, with overall income down 2%. The average ton of Illex is selling at US$ 2,900 the ton, but sales are very slow with only 609 tons exported during January.