SOURCE: Glitnir

November 05, 2007 08:51 ET

Aquaculture Is Gaining Momentum in Latin America, According to Glitnir's Latest Seafood Report, Boosting Exports of Farmed Salmon and Tilapia to the US and Fishmeal to China

SHANGHAI, CHINA and REYKJAVIK, ICELAND--(Marketwire - November 5, 2007) - Latin America is an important player in the global seafood industry. Peru and Chile alone account for approximately half of the world's total fishmeal production and Chile is the world's second largest producer of farmed salmon after Norway. Aquaculture is a growing trend across the region, with demand for aquaculture products expected to increase worldwide by 8 percent annually. The region currently supplies around 99 percent of the total import volume and value of fresh tilapia fillets to the US.

Glitnir, the leading global supplier of financial services to the seafood industry, today released its new report on the Latin American seafood industry. The report analyses the main trends and developments in the seafood sector across the continent with particular focus on Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. A case study on tilapia farming in South America is also included.

This latest Latin American Seafood Industry Report is the second annual report to be published by Glitnir on the Latin American market and is the final report in a series of seven planned for 2007. Glitnir's seafood reports covering Europe, North and South America and China are available at

Findings from the report

--  The total catch of Latin American nations amounted to 17.1 million MT
    in 2005, (17.7% of the global catch) with Peru and Chile standing out as
    the main fishing nations producing 82% of the total volume.
--  In 2006 the Argentine catch increased by 24 percent over the preceding
    year to 1.1 million MT due mainly to a massive increase in the white fish
    catch, the biggest contributors being squid and argentine red shrimp.
--  Hake is the most important species in Argentina with the total catch
    reaching 354 thousand MT in 2006, a 2.3 percent decrease from the preceding
--  Peru is the world's second largest fishing nation, measured in MT,
    based on the 2005 world catch. A large part of that catch is low-value
    pelagic species
--  Peru is the world's largest producer of fishmeal with approximately
    one third of global production and 41 percent of world exports in 2006.
--  Annual seafood consumption in the countries under focus is highest in
    Peru (20.0 kg per capita), followed by Chile (16.5 kg per capita),
    Argentina (6.5 kg per capita) and Brazil (6.0 kg per capita)


Chile is the leading aquaculture country in Latin America with a production of 698,000 MT (52% of total) at a value of US$3.1 billion in 2005. Growth in volume of 78% has been seen over the past five years. The US is the single largest market for Chilean Atlantic salmon, with total imports of 64,959 MT worth US$470 million in the first 8 months of 2007.

Fuelled by a drive from China for fishmeal, aquaculture production has also been growing in Peru, the world's largest producer of fishmeal. Honduras, Ecuador and El Salvador are now establishing themselves as important players in the export of fresh tilapia fillets to the US market. Mexico and Brazil lead the way in tilapia farming, producing 100,000 MT each in 2006, but their harvests are mainly for domestic use.

Imports of tilapia into the US market have increased dramatically in recent years and it is now the country's sixth most popular seafood due to its mild flavour, adaptability to various styles of preparation and a texture that differs from many other types of fish. About 96 percent of all tilapia consumed in the US is imported, and 99 percent of this comes from Latin American countries. Lower transportation costs make Latin America a competitive supplier.


Pelagic species make up a significant part of the Peruvian catch and are the most utilised in the Peruvian seafood industry. The single most important species is anchovy. Since 2002, only anchovy can be used in fishmeal. The use of sardines, mackerel and horse mackerel are reserved for direct human consumption.

In 2006, Peru exported 97 percent of its fishmeal and 96 percent of its fish oil production. 41 percent of its exports went to China, 16 percent to Germany and 13 percent to Japan. Demand for fishmeal particularly from China and Europe is expected to rise further in the coming years with an increasing demand for healthier food.

The weak US Dollar is currently making fishmeal cheaper in both Europe and Japan, and unforeseen temporary events in China weakened demand for fishmeal in the first half of 2007, leading to lower prices. However fishmeal prices have now stabilized at US$ 830/MT FAQ FOB Peru, with a premium of USD 100-200 for prime and super prime and going forward strong demand and limited supply, will probably keep prices relatively high.

This latest Latin American Seafood Industry Report is the second annual report to be published by Glitnir on the Latin American market and is the final report in a series of seven planned for 2007. Glitnir's seafood reports covering Europe, North and South America and China are available at

Glitnir specialises in financing the seafood industry worldwide. In December 2006 Glitnir Securities in Oslo, in cooperation with Glitnir Corporate Finance in London and Glitnir's Seafood Team in Reykjavík, managed a private placement for Copeinca, one of Peru's largest fishmeal and fish oil producers.Glitnir Securities was also the manager for Copeinca's listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange in January 2007.

About Glitnir

The financial group Glitnir offers retail, corporate and investment banking services. Glitnir is a leading niche player in three global industry segments: seafood/food, sustainable energy, and offshore service vessels. Glitnir operates in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the U.K., Luxembourg, Russia, Canada and China, and established a U.S. subsidiary, Glitnir Capital Corporation, in New York in 2007 to strengthen its presence in the Americas. Glitnir is listed on the Icelandic Stock Exchange (GLB).

For more information:

Glitnir Latin America Report:

Contact Information

  • Further information:

    For comments regarding the Glitnir Seafood Industry Reports or Glitnir's
    seafood sector activities and services, please contact:

    Jón Garðar Guðmundsson
    Managing Director, International Banking
    phone +354 440 4516

    Bjørn Richard Johansen
    Managing Director, Corporate Communications
    mobile phone +47 47 800 100

    For photos: please contact