More Norwegian plants to export fresh salmon to Russia

September 21, 2006 14:46

Norwegian chilled salmon is gradually returning to Russian shops. On 20 September 2006 Norwegian authorities announced that the Russian ban for export of chilled Atlantic salmon and trout to Russia was lifted for another six farms owned by Norwegian fish concerns, according to Vedomosti.

Products from six out of 10 farms checked by the Russian veterinary inspectors have therefore been approved for export to Russia, while two other farms have received permanent export permits after a period of supplying chilled salmon under provisional permits. Those previously approved farms belong to Pan Fish Company and two of the above mentioned six farms are owned by Leroy Seafood. The remaining four farms are independent, according to the report.

Pan Fish and Leroy Seafood have altogether won a share of up to 70% of all the officially reported imports of Norwegian Atlantic salmon and trout  into Russia. Deputy sales head of Russia’s Severnaya Kompania Roman Lavrov says that it is still too early to speak of a complete cancellation of the ban until the Russian importers see the official circular from the nation’s Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) signed by its head Sergey Dankvert. Now there is a shortage of chilled Norwegian salmon on the Russian market and the prices have therefore increased.

Inside Russia prices for Norwegian fish through 10 months have dramatically jumped. Chilled salmon has appreciated by 30-35%, according to Nadezhda Kopytina, president of Russia’s big importer Lyodovo Group. In the meantime, Mr. Lavrov along with other seafood leaders speaks of a 100% rise of prices both in the wholesale and retain chain. At the same time, the both managers agree that prices will not decrease quickly after the ban is lifted.

In the nearest future, the Russian veterinary inspectors will check another 100 Norwegian fish plants. On 21 September representatives from Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor are meeting with the Norwegian Department on Food Quality Control to discuss conditions for lifting the ban.

Background

As of 1 January 2006 Rosselkhoznadzor has completely banned import of chilled salmon from Norway. A month prior to the ban introduction the Russian veterinary authorities announced that they found cadmium and lead in salmon grown in four largest farms of Norway. Before the ban was introduced, the Norwegian fish had reportedly occupied up to 60% of all sales of salmon fish in Russia. The Norwegian officials protested that there were no grounds to introduce the ban and in the middle of April after lengthy talks Rosselkhoznadzor issued provisional permits for two farms.

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