Several factors, added to the international crisis, hamper the salmon industry. (Photo: SalmonChile/FIS)
Salmon farming firm number decline forecast
Friday, July 20, 2012, 00:30 (GMT + 9)
The 60 per cent drop in the price of salmon, the lack of funding from banks, a negative return, lower exports due to the international crisis, and health and environmental changes are the main factors affecting the current situation of the Chilean salmon industry.
According to the report by Estrategia, it is expected that the external crisis will impact on Chilean salmon exports, which currently amount to USD 3,000 million.
With regard to the relocation of concessions, out of a total of 300 concessions in the region of Los Lagos and Aysen, only 150 have been performed.
The situation shows that in Chile the number of salmon companies will be reduced to half the existing ones, which are just over 20. In addition, mergers, acquisitions and new openings at the stock exchange are expected to take place this year.
Meanwhile, the current outlook causes uncertainty among entrepreneurs and some industry analysts estimate that this situation will deepen next year.
"I would say the coho (Pacific salmon) is too cheap at present, trout has declined sharply in value, like the Atlantic [salmon], and most companies are working while facing a breakdown status (without earning or losing money)," a businessperson told Estrategia, referring to the difficult situation faced by the sector.
Salmon companies forecast that in 2013, the growth in salmon production is zero or negative, and will reach about 750,000 tonnes.
Due to the lack of money for the sector worldwide, companies like Camanchaca SA, Los Fiordos, Invertec Pesquera Mar de Chiloe (Invermar) and Australis Seafoods SA adjusted their production estimates to the downward trend.
In relation to the debt of the companies in the sector, several executives stated the amount would be about USD 2,000 million, as it was calculated in 2009 following the crisis caused by the spread of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus.
As for the future, the entrepreneurs explained that salmon firms are anxious to have certain regulations clarified, such as densities, included in a future General Fisheries Act, currently pending in Congress.
However, many companies are doing business, such as Mainstream Chile, which is planning the purchase of Cultivos Marinos Chiloé.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pablo Longueira, is critical of the salmon industry.
"It has shown no ability to regulate itself to prevent a health crisis. This is evident in the production plans and in the estimated densities. The inappropriate behavior shown by some can infect those with good practices, so given this fact the authority will act firmly," the official stated.
- Mainstream considers purchasing Cultivos Marinos Chiloé
By Analia Murias