Cause for optimism in Chile?

Despite 2015 being "a very bad year for both the local industry and Aquachile,” Victor Hugo Puchi, president of Chile's largest salmon producer, believes the outlook is not all grim.

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Puchi made the comments to Diario Financiero, explaining the difficult times faced by the Chilean salmon industry, resulting from poor prices in 2015 and recent effect of harmful algae blooms.

He explained that his company's main markets - Russia, Japan and Brazil - faced sharp devaluations of their currencies, representing a great difficulty to keep prices in dollars, which also was worsened by increased competition from Norwegian salmon in the United States.

“However, we now see more favorable salmon price conditions for the coming two years, because supply is not growing but demand continues to rise,” he said. Therefore, he added, the major challenge now is to improve the image of Chilean salmon.

“Improved price expectations observed in different markets will offset those costs resulting from the algal bloom phenomenon affecting our company and much of the industry last March,” he argued.

Finally, he stated: “We expect and need to see changes that show progress on the path of building a more predictable and sustainable industry”.