Outlook for Russia’s salmon catch from new season in the Russian Far East complicated by expected rush of Chinese buyers
As per mid-July 2011 first shipments of the projected big salmon catch (from the new season in the Russian Far East) have been bound for Moscow to reach the Russian Capital shortly by the railway, according to the Russian Fish Insider Report published by http://www.megafishnet.com/.
So far the most popular product- pink salmon (gutted head-on) from the East Kamchatka is fully going to the domestic market with the prices for end-of-July catch below RUR70 per kilo (about USD 2500 per tonne).
As per mid-July the product will not be sold for export yet because, as compared to the home market, the bids of the foreign buyers have been uncompetitive at USD 1600-USD 1800 per metric ton.
Meanwhile the prices in Moscow have not been falling in concert with the increasing supply because the buyers have run out of the old inventory and the empty market has been taking both salmon and salmon roe eagerly.
As per 11 July 2011 the catch of salmon in the Russian Far East hit 50,800 metric tons or 16.2% more than in the same period of the previous odd year of 2009, according to Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency.
Meanwhile during the whole season in 2009 the salmon catch was an absolute record of 538 000 tonnes in terms of the last 100 years while in the year 2010 the fishermen harvested 325 000 tonnes.
The projected figure for the current season is within 420,000-430,000 tonnes but judging by the start of the fishery the forecasted catch may be improved.
However, an important industry player interviewed by the Russian Fish Insider Report on the 20th July is skeptical about the final outcome of the season. According to the trader, more realistic estimates would be within 270,000 -300,000 tonnes of salmon species. By the end of the peak phase on 30 August some 120,000 tonnes may be contributed by Kamchatka to be preceded by Sakhalin and the Kuriles with 140,000 tonnes at the utmost while the share of Magadan should amount to a token 9000 metric tons. The estimates are based on current female percentages in the runs and the cold and abundant waters in the West of Kamchatka.
Meanwhile this is the so-called Sakhalin year where the salmon harvest is just starting with the fish migrating from North to South.
Should these modest catch speculations of the industry insider come true, the situation for the domestic market would be rather gloomy and further aggravated by the expected frantic demand from China in the later phase of the season.