Russian exports of fish and seafood in the first half

August 2, 2021 09:01

Revenue from the export of fish and seafood in the first half of the 2021 showed a positive trend, largely due to a significant increase in June, reports

As a result, the monetary volume of exports in January-June increased by 2.7% to $ 2.4 billion, although in physical terms it decreased by 17% to 924 thousand tons, according to Agroexport.

Shipments of crustaceans increased by 14% to 38 thousand tons, and the value increased by 65% to $ 866 million. 

Exports of frozen fish, on the contrary, decreased to 775 thousand tons (-21%) worth $ 1.1 billion (-26%). As a result, the share of frozen fish in the supply structure fell below 50%. The sales of fish fillets abroad increased to 78 thousand tons (+22%) at the value of $ 335 million (+19%).

In general, the situation on the world fish market is gradually normalizing, the All-Russian Association of Fisheries Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Exporters (VARPE) confirmed. "The Russian exporters of fish products are gradually adapting to the new logistical realities created by the pandemic. Russia is increasing supplies to European countries, to new Asian markets such as Thailand, Vietnam and others, " VARPE points out.

The first place among the buyers of Russian seafood is occupied by the Republic of Korea, whose purchases doubled to 409 thousand tons worth $ 924 million (+36%). Almost half of this volume, as in 2020, is accounted for by frozen fish ($439 million, +58%), another 43% by crustaceans ($400 million, +29%).

Sales to China, on the contrary, decreased by 3.7 times in physical terms (162 thousand tons) and by 2 times in value (442 million dollars). In particular, against the background of restrictions related to the pandemic, shipments of frozen fish fell by 3.8 times to $ 190 million. At the same time, the export of crustaceans showed a 2-fold increase to $ 239 million.

According to VARPE, at the end of 2020, China stopped unloading Russian fish products from trampers in its ports, which led to a reorientation of export flows to the Republic of Korea. "To date, the situation has not normalized. All products that are exported to China are delivered there exclusively by refrigerated containers from Busan or with transshipment in Vladivostok or Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky," the press service of VARPE stressed. Currently, a draft trilateral transit certificate is being approved at the interstate level, which will speed up the procedure for the transit of fish products through Korea to China. This is especially relevant in the light of the actively developing salmon season, as well as pelagic and pollock season (season B), which will begin in the fall.

The third place among the countries that buy Russian fish, as well as last year, is occupied by the Netherlands, which increased the volume of imports at the beginning of 2021. For 6 months, in monetary terms, the shipments increased by 59% to $ 379 million. In particular, the shipments of crustaceans compared to January-June 2020 increased by 3.8 times to $ 183 million, fish fillets - by 30% to $ 107 million. 

One of the reasons for the growth of supplies to the Netherlands and other European countries is a steady trend towards reorientation of trade and the search for new markets for Russian fish products, explains VARPE. "In addition, the growth of Russian fish supplies to Europe was positively affected by not quite successful pollock season in the United States. This year, the catch of pollock in Alaska has seriously decreased, so the volume of production of American pollock fillet has also decreased, most of which is traditionally exported to the EU. This opened a "window" to Europe for the single frozen Russian pollock fillet, " the association said.

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