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Seaweed exports: best prices offset lower volume

Dried seaweeds. (Photo: StockFile)

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Monday, February 16, 2015, 00:30 (GMT + 9)
Exports of products made from seaweed generated USD 268 million in the first 11 months of 2014, according to the Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP).
According to the Bulletin of Fisheries and Aquaculture Exports developed by the Institute, the figure is 3.9 per cent higher than that obtained in the same period last year.
The contribution of these products to total income regarding shipments of aquaculture and fishery sector was 4.8 per cent.
The IFOP noted in its report that foreign sales of products derived from seaweed totalled 4,986 tonnes between January and November last year, a figure that accounts for a decrease of 24.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.
The average FOB price of total seaweed products exported in the first 11 months of 2014 was USD 3,503 per tonne, 12.9 per cent more than in the same period of 2013.
As regards export volumes, the IFOP stressed that the main algae-based products exported to November were dried seaweed (90.3 per cent), carrageenan (5.9 per cent) and agar agar (2.1 per cent).
Income received between January and November 2014 placed exports of dried seaweed in the first place of the ranking, with 49.9 per cent share.
Following stood carrageenan shipments, with a contribution of 25.5 per cent; and agar agar ranked third with a share of 16.6 per cent.
On the other hand, in October 2014 the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture(Subpesca) entered the modifications that allowed the reactivation of the seaweed growing and repopulation project, initiative that had shown no movement since its entrance in August 2013.
The amendments were admitted to the Chamber of Deputies and submitted by Subpesca to the Committee on Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Interests of the House on 15 October.
The bill provides for a budget of CLP 1 billion (USD 1.6 million) annually for the first three years. Furthermore, it expands the number of potential beneficiaries to artisanal fishermen working with management plans.

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