Demand and supply misbalance on RFE shrimp market
In the year 2007 the shrimp capture quotas have been increased nearly in all the zones and subareas of the Russian Far East. The only exceptions are East Sakhalin where the quotas have been slightly reduced and Kamchatka-Kurile subarea where the quotas have been set on a par with last year.
The TAC of pink shrimp Pandalus borealis in the current year 2007 has been approved at 13,519 tonnes or 3000 tonnes more than in 2006. The total increase of the pink shrimp quota 2007 on 2006 for the members of Dalkrevetka Shrimpers Association amounts to 28% mainly thanks to larger TAC in the West Bering Sea zone where the quotas have been more than doubled.
At present, pink shrimp prices on the Japanese market remain at the level of 7 USD per kilo, while provisional figures indicate that in the year 2006 pink shrimp supplies slightly dropped by 8-10%. According to Japanese exporters, market stabilization can be achieved by reducing annual supply to under 4000 tonnes per year (in 2005 the supply amounted to about 10,000 tonnes).
Evidently, in this situation of higher TAC the Russian exporters have to search for new markets for this specialty product designed for eating raw in Japanese seafood restaurants. For instance, the Russians may capitalize on the growing demand for raw shrimp in Moscow and Saint Petersburg where sushi bars and restaurants have been rising quite fast in the last few years.
In the year 2006 the members of Dalkrevetka Shrimpers Association covered one half of the Basin's shrimp TAC.
The total harvest of deepwater shrimp in the year 2006 amounted to 7349 tonnes or somewhat lower than in 2005. The quota remaining uncovered amounted to ca.3000 tonnes. More specifically, the RFE fishermen failed to harvest 830 tonnes in the West Bering Sea zone, 191 tonnes in the North Okhotsk subarea, 829 tonnes in the Kamchatka Kurile subarea, 539 tonnes in East Sakhalin and 311 tonnes in West Sakhalin. While the catch lag in the West Bering Sea zone could be attributed to the shipowners' decision not to send their shrimpers there, poor catches in the Kamchatka Kurile and other subareas resulted from weak fishery conditions.
In general, last year none of RFE provinces and companies exhausted their shrimp quotas 100%. The fishery situation was very difficult and the scientific forecasts were obviously not accurate.
The association's companies together with TINRO-Centre scientists conducted a number of surveys. They succeeded in providing grounds for opening the previously closed fishing area - to the south off the Zolotoy Cape in the Sea of Japan. That was one of the association's main achievements in the year 2006. Thanks to it, the founders of the association received an extra quota of 431 tonnes.