Salmon packaging for export. (Photo: AquaChile)
Lack of polystyrene boxes affects salmon packaging
Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Several members of the national salmon industry warn that since early March there has been a shortage of polystyrene boxes for the shipment of products made with salmon.
This lack of availability of basic inputs -- such as packing boxes – would be due to the growth experienced by salmon production after the crisis caused by the outbreak of infectious salmon anemia (ISA) that began in 2007 and to the reactivation of exports of this industry.
Last year Chile exported salmon for USD 2,925 million, that is to say, 42 per cent more than in 2010 (USD 2,058 million).
The volume of exports grew by 29.7 per cent, from 296,911 tonnes in 2010 to 385,366 tonnes in 2011.
The upward trend continued in the first two months of this year: 105,302 tonnes of salmon were exported while in the same months of 2011 90,107 tonnes were sold abroad.
"There has been a development to increase salmon sales, especially to Brazil, and when it comes to dispensing the product, we find that the production capacity of packaging material is absolutely devastated and the businesses that make these inputs are quite oversold," industry sources informed Aqua.
"We look like an underdeveloped country, as customers are surprised when we should explain that in Chile there is not enough packing material to ship our products," it was added.
Meanwhile, Rodrigo Rueda, Packaging Department Coordinator in Aislapol, a company of BASF Group’s in Chile that provides polystyrene packaging for the salmon industry, stated that since the end of 2011 there has been "a strong rise in the demand for export boxes for fresh salmon," which is a situation associated with the "a better productive performance" of the firm's customers.
He added that, as a permanent member of the Association of the Chilean Salmon Industry AG (SalmonChile), the company is really committed "to support the recovery and to continue meeting the market demand and requirements."
He also assured they are doing everything possible to meet the needs of all their customers, and that they even plan to expand the production of polystyrene boxes.
However, entrepreneurs from the sector admit that "the production capacity can not increase in the short term because it is necessary to make investments in additional new lines."
"There are salmon farming firms considering the possibility of importing cases from Argentina," he concluded.
By Analia Murias