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Chile salmon exports top $4 billion in 2014

Staff writer |
Exports of salmon from Chile will exceed $4 billion this year, compared with $3.5 billion in 2013, the president of industry association Salmon Chile said in an interview with La Tercera newspaper.

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Salmon has become Chile's second largest export by value after copper, Felipe Sandoval told the daily. Sandoval said salmon production in 2014 will surpass 800,000 tons, up from 792,200 tons last year. That total includes salmo salar, coho, rainbow trout and king salmon.

Through October 31, the main markets for Chile's exports of salmon were the United States, with 33 percent; Japan, 22 percent; and Brazil, with 13 percent.

The encouraging estimates for 2014 and 2015 apparently mark an end to the crisis the ISA virus caused in the salmon industry between 2007 and 2010, when a fall in production and exports left $5 billion in losses.

On the positive side, the crisis led to updates and improvements in the industry's methods and sanitary measures.

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