Russia overtakes USA in global pollock fillets market

February 2, 2023 16:45

Russia for the for the first time in history overtook the United States in pollock fillet production, as last year local fishermen increased the production by 16.8% to 139,000 tons, according to the Russian Pollock Association (ADM).

For comparison, the volume of pollock fillet production in the United States in 2022 decreased by 1.5% to 138,000 tons.

"Throughout 2022, Russia has maintained the trend of increasing the output of value-added pollock products: fillets, mince and surimi. The number of fleets equipped with fillet and pollock surimi production lines has increased, and the return from coastal plants has also increased. This allowed us to increase the production of value-added products to 200 thousand tons," said ADM President Alexey Buglak. He noted that, according to the Association's estimates, the APO fillet production in Russia exceeded 139 thousand tons, which is more than that of the United States — the main competitor of Russian APO producers on world markets.

The APO catch in the Russian Far East reached 1.905 million tons — plus 10.7% compared to 2021. Due to the catch rise, the production of frozen pollock increased by 2.9% compared to last year. A significant increase was again shown by pollock fillets made onboard — the output amounted to 126 thousand tons, 22% higher year-on-year.

"In proportion to the increase in the fillet production, the output of APO mince, which is a co-product in the fillet production, has increased. Its output amounted to 28 thousand tons, +55% YOY. It is worth noting a significant increase in the onboard production of surimi from 2.4 thousand tons in 2021 to 16.7 thousand tons in 2022. Thus, the total volume of onboard APO products with added value increased to 170 thousand tons, +38% on 2021," Alexey Buglak said.

He noted that such a result was achieved primarily due to the modernization and re-equipment of the fleet. "While in 2020 the number of fillet vessels was 30 units, by 2022 it has grown by 40% to 42. In addition, this year 3 vessels were refitted for surimi production, which contributed to the growth of the output of these products. Also in 2022, 2 new processor trawlers built in Turkey started pollock fishing," the President of the ADM explained.

According to the Association's estimates, coastal enterprises have made a significant contribution to the total production volume – ca.30 thousand tons of value added pollock products. The ADM noted that the output of value-added APO products in Russia is approaching the respective result in the United States. "According to ADM estimates, 40% of pollock catches in 2022 went for the production of value-added products," said Alexey Buglak.

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