First auction sales of pollock roe in Busan highlighting good prospects for Russian product

February 15, 2012 16:49

On 8 February 2012 Busan auctions started offering frozen Russian pollock roe and the first results were better than expected, reports

More specifically, Sakhalin-based Pilenga put up for auctions some 150 MT of pollock roe made in late 2011 and early 2012. According to Japanese sources, the average sales price reached USD 6.70 per kilo ex-coldstore Busan which was described as higher than expected. Comparably high average price could be attributed to presence of pollock roe from January catches with optimal (or close to optimal) level of maturity making the product fit for processing into ready-to-eat products for the Japanese market (while immature roe normally enjoys demand only on the South Korean market).

Observers very cautiously surmised that such results of the first auction sales might be indicative of general readiness of Japanese and South Korean buyers to purchase Russian products at strong prices in USD, though the situation should become more or less definite only with the start of main sales. Probably, the light will be thrown already on the eighth week of 2012 when Pilenga will continue offering pollock roe with a bigger volume of ca.500 MT on offer.

Headed pollock

Situation on the US pollock grounds in late January 2012 and early February 2012 was difficult practically for all the fishery participants, but for the Russian fishermen more problems caused a drop of prices for headed pollock.

By the end of the first ten days of February 2012 prices for the size 25+ descended to USD 1,330-1,340 CAF China, while prices for the size 30+ declined to USD 1,360-1,370 per MT, though there were some reports of sales at USD 1,375-1,380 per MT.

Moreover, market observers expected a further price fall to USD 1,300 per MT of pollock 25+ and to less than USD 1,350 per MT of the size 30+, though some producers kept thinking that prices were on downward trend merely through inertia and there were no actual reasons for the continuous price fall. They did not except iteration of the situation when some big buyers could start active purchases at much higher prices and the other would have to purchase at even stronger prices.

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