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The value of Chilean salmon exports increased by 20% last year. Photo: Camanchaca
The value of Chilean salmon exports increased by 20% last year. Photo: Camanchaca

The value of Chile's salmon exports in 2017 rose by 20% to US$4.6 billion compared to the year before, according to figures from the Central Bank of Chile.

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Exports of Atlantic and Coho salmon were worth an extra $764 million. Chilean exports of trout totalled  $468m, an increase of $63m or 16% compared with the same period of 2016.

The figures highlight the continued turnaround in the fortunes of the Chilean salmon industry. Until February 2016, it lost an average of one US dollar per kg harvested product. High costs due to poor fish health and low sales prices were the main reasons.According to data from the country's six listed salmon farming companies (Blumar, Australis, Aquachile, Multiexport, Invermer, Camanchaca) that account for about 60% of the annual Chilean salmon production, they produced just over 512.6 million tonnes of fish in 2016. If they produced the same volume last year, and this represents 60%, Chile - the world's second-largest salmon farmer - may have surpassed 850 thousand tonnes in 2017.

Future expansion

Salmon farming leader Norway exported one million tonnes of fish (salmon and trout) to a value of NOK67.7 billion ($8.56bn) in 2017. That's an increase of 3.6% from 2016, but the volume of exports remained at the same level as last year.

Meanwhile, Camanchaca has announced that it will launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares on the Santiago and Oslo stock exchanges, through the issuance of American Depository Receipts (ADR).

The company expects to raise between $50-55 million. Last September,the company stated that the objective of the operation was to strengthen itself financially, access specialised markets and prepare for a future plan of expansion and international investment.

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