March sales of Russian pollock roe in Busan fetched unexpectedly high prices
The first series of large-scale auction sales of Russian-made frozen pollock roe this year was held in Busan (South Korea) as late as in the middle of the third week of March, almost a month later compared to the usual dates, reports Megafishnet.com.
According to Japanese sources, almost the entire supply was represented by products with an insufficient degree of maturity, the roes partially produced in the last quarter of 2020 and partially in January of 2021.
Russian products with this level of quality are usually in demand mainly from South Korean users who prefer to work with low-priced frozen pollock roe. However, the first series of Russian sales brought quite high results in terms of price, which market experts attribute primarily to the low level of inventory transferred from last year.
The total volume on offer from three Russian companies, including Norebo, Pilenga and the Russian Fishery Company, in this series of auctions turned out to be much larger than originally reported, reaching more than 0.45 thousand tons, but even in such conditions, prices were quite high at this level of quality. The average price level based on the results of these auctions is either US$5.00/kg, or the level slightly higher than US$5.00/kg.
At the same time, the price for one of the 25 batches amounted to US$5.55/kg, the price for another one reached US$5.70/kg, and the maximum price hit US$6.10/kg, at which one batch was also sold. The buyers of these batches actually were, according to some sources, not South Korean, but Japanese companies, despite the fact that the participation of the Japanese due to quarantine restrictions was very much in question.
The overall price range was approximately US$4.30-6.10/kg, which is considered an unexpectedly high result for products with low maturity, especially against the background of last year's results, which were limited to the level of only US$2.00/kg and below. The decisive factor was, according to the Japanese importers, the fact that many South Korean users ran out of frozen froe stocks, which they could not refill due to the strong postponement of the start of active Russian sales (according to some reports, auctions were held in February with a total volume of less than 0.2 thousand tons).
Moreover, there is evidence that the raw materials purchased in the third week of March will also fall short of restoring an acceptable level of stocks, and this may also affect the price level during the subsequent auctions.