Murmansk fish fillet producers outbid foreign buyers of haddock despite currency moves

August 19, 2011 23:01


Murmansk-based fish fillet factories pay more than foreign buyers for Russian-caught haddock while cod catches will continue to be overwhelmingly shipped for export, according to

Cod and haddock

As of mid-August the fleets of the North Basin (Murmansk + Arkhangelsk + Karelia) have continued active fishery for cod and haddock with the operations mostly conducted in the Norwegian EEZ and in the Spitsbergen area. A proportion of cod and haddock catch is also being made in the Russian EEZ.

The Russian haddock prices have stayed higher than what export can pay despite some depreciation of the national currency to USD and EURO and the fleets have tended to take the bulk of the haddock for landing in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk.

Meanwhile, the exchange rate movements have pushed ruble equivalent of cod prices somewhat up giving an extra incentive for export (some 80% of the harvest). According to official statistics, as per 8 August the Russian cod quota has been covered at 64.7% (198 600MT) and the haddock quota at 68% (95100MT).


Off northern Norway good catches of saithe have been observed. The material is actively purchased by Murmansk-based fish factories for fillet production.

Atlantic mackerel, herring and capelin

The Russian market, specifically in Moscow, has been hit by a shortage of Norwegian frozen mackerel, size 300-500, against the background of what was described by one big trader as colossal demand. The demand for Norwegian and Scottish mackerel 600+ has however quieted down.  Also good demand has been observed for Norwegian herring 350+ and 400+ as opposed to poor demand for Russian herring 300+.

Meanwhile Murmansk fishery for Atlantic mackerel has been subsiding. The vessels which have exhausted mackerel quota are being transferred to herring fishery. The daily mackerel catch in early week 33 amounted to 1000MT as the remaining quota stood at only about 6000MT. The mackerel in the catch contains redfeed (1 point) and small sizes (200-400, 300-500 for w/r and 200-300 for HG) have continued to prevail near the close of the fishery.

The first landings of herring from August catch (size 200-400) have been sold in Murmansk from 25RUB per kg (redfeed about 1 point).

Murmansk fishery scientists have found good schools of large capelin at about 74 Degree North. However, as per early week 33, Murmansk owners have deployed no boats to conduct the fishery.

Other species

The Russian vessels have wound up the blue whiting fishery and now the popular species is only taken as small bycatch in the mackerel operations.

The boats are also harvesting Barents Sea plaice of predominantly small sizes. The fish larger than 500g has accounted for a mere 10-20% of the catch.

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