Current trends on Russia's fish market

November 17, 2011 12:42

Experts say that now there are two key trends on the Russian fish market, reports

Wild fish catches are on a rise, thus pushing down prices. On the other side, the demand is also on a rise which pushes prices up. As a result, prices settle at a certain level with slight fluctuations.


Despite a rise of seafood consumption to 21-22 kg in 2011 (up from 13-14 kg in 2008 and 19.7 kg in 2010) fish products remain far behind meat with its 43 kg per capita per annum.

The above mentioned forecast of fish consumption growth in 2011 is proved by recent market developments. Russian Sea Group of Companies, one of the largest fish producers in Russia, announced a 15% rise of proceeds during the first nine months of 2011. The Group's proceeds from sales of chilled and freshfrozen fish rose by 13.5% to RUR 9.777 billion, its sales of ready-to-eat fish jumped by 20% to RUR 2.703 billion. The Group also boosted sales of salmon products and salmon caviar in Russian regions. By the end of winter the company plans to sell ca.1,000 MT of own trout in live weight.


Experts attribute the above trends with emergence of consumers sticking to healthy diet. The demand for fish products is on a rise, thus current decline of prices for some fish products simply means return to the market norm after overpricing.

In longterm outlook Russia should expect a rise of consumption of domestic products. The country has got a big potential for production boost with a lot of freshwater and marine stocks remaining practically untapped so far.

Big retailers slow down rise of fish prices - big chains prefer not to work with small suppliers, they would rather import lower quality fish from abroad. Huge potential for the market growth in the future is expected to be realised by small retail chains which gradually start bringing domestic fish to the consumer.


Fish prices in 2010 rose by 4.6% in Russia (for comparison, +3.1% in EU). As per late October 2011 a big rise of prices was recorded for herring (+4.3%) and frozen fish (except for salmon species) (+2.0%). Some other products were showing price declines, though fairly small.


Against the background of rising domestic catch and production, shipments of imported fish fillets have been declining. Head of Analytical Centre of Information Fisheries Agency Mr. Timur Mitupov says that in January-September 2011 fish fillet production in Russia jumped by 29.3%.

Import of pangasius fillets and other seafood from Vietnam decreased by 17.2% to 17,900 MT, and import of tilapia fillets from China - by 14% to 12,300 MT. The negative trend could be explained by introduction of new sanitary standards in October 2010, according to which glazing content for seafood should not exceed 5% of net weight.

The new regulation was taken by the market positively as the quality of farmed fish from Southeast Asia is low and its healthiness is doubtful.

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