Chile seafood giant profits hit by salmon woes

Salmones Camancha farm

The giant Chilean fishing and aquaculture group Camanchaca saw its profits fall last year, mainly due to a slump in its aquaculture business.

The company has blamed higher costs and weak demand for salmon, particularly during the second quarter of 2023.

The group earnings came out around 5% higher at almost US $762m (£607m) of which US $353.9m (£282m) was from salmon.

The salmon division suffered with smaller Atlantic salmon volumes and lower prices of farmed species. There was also an increase in feed costs and health incidents.

Camanchaca was one of the founders of Chile’s aquaculture industry. Its main aquaculture production is centred around Atlantic and Coho salmon and rainbow trout.

The fishing division turned in a strong performance, although higher fuel prices took some of the shine off its performance.

When it came to aquaculture, Atlantic and coho salmon prices were down. There was also a sharp increase in cultivation costs due to various health issues. Along with northern Europe aquaculture, 2023 was also a difficult year biologically for Chile’s fish farmers.

The industry also faced higher feed costs. The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was around 27% down on 2022 at US $90m.

The company said the fishing business helped produce the most satisfactory results especially in relation to recovery of biomass, an increase in fish oil and an increase in the sale of frozen horse mackerel. Revenues from this division went up by 19%.

Camanchaca said it had seen an 82% increase in the sold price of fish oil, explained by the shortage generated by the El Niño phenomenon, which had affected Peruvian anchovy catches.


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