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Fishing exports in the 21st century: shrimp preponderance and rising on average prices

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Thursday, December 05, 2019, 01:50 (GMT + 9)

The Fisheries Problems Observatory (Observatorio de Problemáticas Pesqueras - OPP) published an analysis with the evolution of the sector's exports so far in the new century. Seafood quadrupled its participation in foreign sales in twelve years.

From the Fisheries Problems Observatory they published a report with the evolution of fisheries exports in the period 2001-2018 where the jump in both volumes and in the foreign currencie generation was evidenced from the overabundance of Patagonian shrimp.

The study, prepared by Diego Solimeno, university professor and member of the OPP, exposes that the evolution of the fishing export complex remained relatively stable in the first five years of the analyzed period.

The total value exported between USD 700 and 800 million, and in terms of participation by species, the situation was variable, the role was shared between squid, shrimp and hake.

"As of 2006, fishing exports begin to show a sustained rise from USD 1,200 million to USD 2,148 million in 2018, a record figure for the sector," the author distinguishes as the Patagonian seafood takes center stage in volume and currency .

Argentinean seafood exports | Haga click en la imagen para agrandarla (Fuente: Revista Puerto)

In 2006, exports of the species represented approximately USD 370 million and in 2018 this figure amounted to USD 1.3 billion. This meteoric increase caused the participation of the species to go from representing a quarter of the total to a little more than 60%.

Solimeno also addressed the relationship between the value of exports and exported tonnage. In the first years of the analyzed period, the average price of the ton exported by national fisheries remained stable from a balanced distribution in the participation of the three main species in the total volume.

The situation changed after 2008 when the shrimp share and its high price began to grow. "The greater participation of shrimp has allowed the average price of Argentine fisheries exports to increase steadily in the last thirteen years, from approximately USD 1,500 / t to USD 4,500 / t in recent years," the document reflects.

Relationship between the value of fisheries exports and tons | Haga click en la imagen para agrandarla (Fuente: Revista Puerto)

A reverse shrimp process shows hake. After the fishery crisis in 2001, the species has not regained its participation and the tons exported have shown slight fluctuations but with a clear downward trend since 2009.

"The concentration of fishing effort in shrimp is risky mainly due to possible changes in the fishing stock or in the behavior of the international market," warns the researcher at the National University of Mar del Plata.

In that sense, Solimeno considers that it is necessary to think of incentives that allow profitability at the lowest possible social cost to reverse the changes produced in the labor force market and in the port cities not benefiting from shrimp fever where employment is scarce.

Total Argentinean exports | Haga click en la imagen para agrandarla (Fuente: Revista Puerto)

Regarding the share of fishing in the total exported by Argentina during the period analyzed, the numbers mark a countercyclical situation. With the boom in agricultural commodities, fishing numbers remained low and sales of the sector accounted for only 1% of the total.

"As of 2011, the value of Argentine exports begins to decline sharply when, on the contrary, the fishing complex transits its" shrimp boom "and the portion became 3% of the cake.

As a balance sheet, Solimeno points out that maritime fishing activity is going through, at least from the macroeconomic point of view, through a historical bonanza. In parallel, the author acknowledges that this process is contrasted with the growing appearance of social conflict due to the reduction of hake unloaded in Mar del Plata port.

Author: Roberto Garrone / Revista Puerto




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