Analysts forecasting further growth of seafood imports to Ukraine

April 25, 2007 12:55

The recent years have been displaying a dramatic growth of seafood import to the Ukraine, according to Seichas newspaper.

In the last five years the volumes of imported fish stagnated at about 250,000 tonnes per year, but in the year 2006 the volumes made a huge leap jumping by 81,000 tonnes.

In particular, hake import in 2006 grew more than 1.5-fold, while import of herring fillets jumped three times. The nation's import of shrimps grew nearly 10 times. The dramatic rise of shrimp import can be attributed to cancellation of import duties and a large growth of restaurants and cafes in number. Besides, after the import duties for fish fillets had been cancelled production of marined fish preserved at the Ukrainian factories practically tripled. In the year 2006 when the market could not absorb the growth of world prices for mackerel, that market niche was taken by saury. The level of herring consumption in the Ukraine is one of the world's highest peaking at 2.6 kilos per capita and 93% of the herring consumed by the country is supplied by Norway.

At the same time, the Ukrainian importers keep on complaining of low efficiency of their operations. As the seafood import is characterized by evident seasonality, it is felt that banks should take a more active part in export-import operations which can help considerably decrease the cost of buying the products and increase import supplies to the Ukraine.

Seafood import will grow also due to insufficient output of home producers. Now in the Ukrainian fleet only floating canneries keep making a profit. The main reason behind the low production volumes in the Ukraine is that the nation's fishing fleet has no access to the stocks. It can operate only on a limited area of the World Ocean outside the highly efficient areas.

Volumes of seafood import to the Ukraine, metric tons

Year

Hake

Herring

Shrimps

Pangasius

Salmon

Trout

Saury

2005

22,229

5792

858

225

2580

1064

127

2006

38,375

19,182

8179

7486

4881

2333

4530

Decrease of seafood production in the Ukraine has caused a rash growth of seafood import. In the near future the volumes of imported seafood will grow, though not as rapidly as in 2006. Especially high rise was observed for shrimps which could be attributed to growing number of cafes and restaurants.

Checks to come

With the seafood consumption being so strong the state bodies are concerned with the quality of imported products. Therefore, in the near future, according to the corresponding law, the Ukrainian inspectors will start checking veterinary services of the states exporting seafood to the country. In its turn, the Ukrainian state Veterinary Service will also be checked by the EU specialists.

The nation's current legislation says that any country can export its meat, dairy and fish products to the Ukraine subject to approval of its establishments and vessels by the EU.

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