Russia's fish imports/exports in January-November 2011 displaying ups and downs

December 27, 2011 11:48

In January-November 2011 Russia's fresh fish imports made a big leap while frozen fish imports dwindled, reports with reference to Timur Mitupov, head of Analytical Centre of the nation's Information Agency on Fisheries, who has studied official data from Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency, Federal Customs Service and Russia's Statistics Bureau.

More specifically, through the first eleven months of 2011 Russia's import of finfish and other aquatic products declined by 11.9% or 93,000 MT on the same period of 2010, namely from 783,000 to 690,000 MT. Import of frozen fish showed negative trends for all main fish articles, and import of fish fillets from the Southeast Asia also declined.

Decline of import shipments was due to a fall of frozen fish imports by 21.9% to 394,000 MT, fillets - 11.6% to 108,000 MT as well as shellfish by 6.4% to 48,800 MT. In the first eleven months of 2011 import declined for all main frozen fish articles such as frozen herring - by 25.6% to 93,000 MT, mackerel - by 9.6% to 90,000 MT, hake - by 23% to 15,700 MT, Baltic herring and sprat - by 20.9% to 37,100 MT. Import of fish fillets dwindled for to lower shipments of fillets of Chinese tilapia and Vietnamese pangasius (-19.2% or 8,300 MT to 34,900 MT). At the same time, import of pollock fillets from China jumped 2.3 fold to 10,000 MT.

Chilled fish

In January-November 2011 Russian importers boosted their purchases of chilled fish by 19.1% to 106,000 MT, ready-to-eat products (salted, dried, smoked and marinated) by 11.7% to 10,500 MT, mollusks and other water invertebrates by 25.5% to 23,600 MT. The share of chilled fish imports rose from 11.5% to 15.3% on the previous year. The import growth could be attributed mostly to larger import shipments of chilled Atlantic salmon and trout (+20.4% to 100,000 MT). Russia's total imports of salmon and trout products in the period under analysis amounted to ca.132,000 MT, including 74.5% of chilled salmon/trout, 23.8% of frozen salmon/trout and 0.4% of fillets. Norway (78%) and Chile (10%) remain Russia's main exporting countries.

Seafood shipments to domestic market

The total harvest of aquatic species from the beginning of the year 2011 amounted to 4,021,800 MT, to display a 5.1% rise (+193,700 MT) on the respective result of the previous year. The pollock catch rose by 0.2% to 1,549,600 MT, cod - by 12% to 383,800 MT, herring - by 4.2% to 419,400 MT, flounder - by 0.7% to 77,700 MT, crabs - by 9.4% to 42,200 MT, grenadier - by 4% to 21,400 MT, squid - by 7.8% to 69,400 MT and saury - two times to 62,100 MT. In the meantime, the drop was registered for shrimp imports, which declined by 3.4% to 9,200 MT, wachna cod - by 7% to 28,000 MT, ocean perch - by 2.2% to 36,300 MT. According to provisional estimates of Timur Mitupov, in 2011 the capacity of Russia's fish market (in terms of raw material) will grow by 80,000-100,000 MT and amount to more than 4 million of finfish and other aquatic products.

Frozen fish export

In the period under analysis Russian export of frozen fish products went up by 6% from 1,118,600 MT to 1,186,300 MT. The rise could be attributed to rising export shipments of salmons. In January-November 2011 Russia exported more than 152,000 MT of salmons versus nearly 100,000 MT through 12 months of 2010.

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