Ending quotas come forward as main factor behind Russian export of fish products from Barents Sea
In fact, in November-December 2010 export prices for headed cod and haddock have been rising every week. Prices for fillets have been also rising but at a slower rate. The trend can be attributed to early exhaustion of quotas by nearly all the fishing companies except for such giants as Murmansk Trawl Fleet and a group of fishing companies supplying Ocean Trawlers.
Halibut of the Barents Sea
The Russian dedicated fishery of halibut in the Barents Sea has been opened only in the current year 2010. However, main halibut buyers either know nothing about the product or think it is no good, because they are used to purchase Barents Sea halibut harvested as bycatch only. The bycatch has actually contained little halibut and in order to sell at least one carton the fishermen have had to accumulate it from several hauls during one day. As a result, the quality of fish meat has been not very high, nevertheless the general trend of rising halibut prices has persisted with the product being sold off directly after landing to onshore coldstore.
Russian herring has become uncompetitive as soon as Norwegian purse seiners have begun landing it for onshore processing because the production costs have been much lower as compared to those for onboard freezing by the Russian trawlers.
The situation on the blue whiting market is not clear as the fishery in the Faroese fishing zone has just taken off and prices on the Russian market are much higher than those of foreign traders. Besides, the blue whiting supply in 2011 is expected to be low which does not let prices come down.
Polar cod Boreogadus saida is taken by foreign producers as one of cheap sources of raw material for surimi production (as a substitution of blue whiting) and as cheap fish for Africa. However, the market is in the very start of development phase and buyers are only taking product samples and no information about any big sales deals has been available to market insiders as per mid-December 2010.