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Peru fishmeal co sees China-aided sales
LIMA (Reuters) - Tecnologica de Alimentos (TASA), the world's largest fishmeal producer, expects its exports to jump 33 percent this year to $400 million, thanks to greater production and increasing demand from China, a senior company executive said on Monday.
China is expected to purchase more fishmeal to use as livestock feed as demand for pork grows during Year of the Pig celebrations, Humberto Speziani, an adviser to senior management at TASA, said at the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit in Lima, Peru.
Speziani said global fishmeal prices could rise as much $50 a ton this year from a current $1,200 a ton.
"In 2006, (TASA's) exports were $300 million," said Speziani. TASA also is Peru's biggest fishing company fielding a 71-boat fleet. "This year we could reach $400 million in fishmeal, oil, frozen and canned foods (exports)," he said.
Fishmeal, processed by TASA mainly from anchovies caught in the Pacific, is a feed supplement high in protein and can be used for livestock, including pork, and poultry feed like soymeal.
Peru is the world's biggest producer of fishmeal, accounting for about 30 percent of global production.
TASA operates 16 fish processing plants, the last inaugurated in January, with a output capacity to produce 455 tonnes a day of frozen mackerel.
"YEAR OF THE PIG"
Citing China as a major market, he said he expected the Asian country's growing demand to be fueled by greater food output and rising demand for pork in the Year of the Pig.
"The pigs are going to use more fishmeal, since we are in the Year of the Pig in China and consumption is increasing," he said.
He said Chinese demand would keep fishmeal demand buoyant, thus accounting for the small rise he foresaw for fishmeal prices this year.
TASA's Speziani said the company plans to boost its fleet this year to more than 80 boats, largely to increase its anchovy catch and provide more raw material for its fishmeal plants.
In 2006, Peruvian fishing fleets as a whole caught about 5.8 million tonnes of anchovies. The year before, Peru's catch was 8.5 million tonnes anchovy.
Speziani said he saw the country's catch rising this year from 2006.
He added the company plans to complete its acquisition within 30 days of a fishmeal plant in the southern city of Ilo.
"We are buying boats due to the number of (fishmeal) plants that we have," he added.
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