Moscow's freshfrozen fish market in early March 2009

March 5, 2009 16:23

As per early March 2009 Moscow's market of frozen fish has produced a number of new developments, analysts of ( concluded after analyzing the current situation on the market.

However, according to market players, the activity has been weak due to high prices, while the demand for the entire product range has displayed no peaks.

The capelin fishery has been progressing with unstable success with the fish either found or not. In the closing week of February 2009 the capelin fishery was practically suspended until the situation improves. According to a spokesman of a large fishing company, due to pressure from the authorities anxious to boost the capelin catch Murmansk fishermen had to move to the grounds before the best time, though the mass season should have been opened in early March and until that time the vessels should have been fishing for herring.

The same situation has been observed on the blue whiting grounds. As two thirds of the fleet is operating on the capelin grounds, the blue whiting harvest of the Russian vessels is limited. While in the previous years blue whiting prices have been falling, now they are stable, as the supply is close to zero. According to the forecasts of a spokesman from Murmansk company, blue whiting prices will start falling in the end of April, when the fleet discontinues harvesting capelin and switches to blue whiting fishery in the Faroese fishing zone.

At present, the average price of the Russian capelin depending on the size amounts from RUB20.00 to RUB23.50 per kilo ex-vessel. The situation on the capelin market is complicated because traders are waiting for a surge of the product supply on the market, which has been forecasted by the State Fisheries Agency. The traders behave very carefully and refrain from purchasing large volumes of the products in the hope for rising prices. However, during five years of the capelin fishery ban the Russian fishermen have lost the fishing skills, Murmansk sources say. Besides, at present the Russians do not have such high-tech hardware as the Norwegian fishermen have, therefore the Russian quota will hardly be covered this year. Absence of full scale information from the scientists, high fishing costs, as well as absence of fishable concentrations have been considerably complicating the fleet's operations.

As per the first week of March 2009, prices of pollock and other species are stable without any fluctuations. According to the industry sources, such trend has been caused by the current balance of demand, expectations and supply. Prices of salmon caviar have got stabilized, while the national holidays have not influenced the demand.

According to the importers, the market of imported table fish has been showing signs of stagnation. The holidays have made no impact on the dynamics of the demand. Many importers still experience difficulties with getting the veterinary permits for seafood import from a number of countries, in particular from Taiwan and Ecuador. Along with the above countries, there have also been difficulties with seafood import permits for several Chinese plants. Some Russian importers say they are unhappy with a very long procedure of the permits' issuance. More specifically, one company applying for the permit in November 2008, received the answer only in the end of February 2009. However, the importers hope that extension of the Argus electronic system to the fish stocks in the end of 2009 will speed up the process of issuing the permits. The companies will be able to fill in the application form in online electronic mode and then duly receive the information on issued permits or rejections of their import/export applications.

There is also information about importers' problems in the Ukraine. More specifically, repudiations of ordered goods have been growing in number. Several foreign companies have been asking the Russian importers to accept the repudiated products previously approved for import to the Ukraine. Probably, the rising number of repudiations may be attributed to introduction of extra 13% duty for seafood import to the country, as well as to worsening financial situation of the importers.

Average frozen fish prices in Moscow as per 2 March 2009


SizeCountry of originPrice in RUB per kilo
Pink salmon head-on gutted1+Russia91.00105.00
Pink salmon w/r1+Russia81.0095.00
Chum salmon headedRussia103.00
Chum salmon head-on gutted85.0095.00
Baltic sprat27.0028.50
Baltic herring34.00
Blue whiting26.0035.00
Alaska pollock headed250+64.0068.00
Salmon roe saltedcubotainerRussia900.001250.00
Hake HGTUSA78.0089.00
Squid tubesRussia65.0075.00
Atlantic salmon 6-7Norway223.00
Atlantic salmon 7-8Norway215.00227.00
Trout 2.7-4.0Chile210.00
Trout 1.8-2.7Chile225.00
Seller prices in RUB per kilo in Moscow as per 2 March 2009

Ultrafish OOO

Russian Fish Company ZAOMorskoy MeridianTikhrybkom OOOTPK Irna OOODiross OOOLobnensky Khladokombinat OOO
Pink salmon head-on gutted1+90.90105.0097.00102.00
Pink salmon w/r1+89.9081.0095.00
Chum salmon headed103.00
Chum salmon head-on gutted85.0086.0095.0087.0094.00
Baltic sprat10-1227.00
Baltic herring18+
Blue whiting26.7235.00
Pollock headed250+66.9068.0052.0064.0068.00
Salmon roe saltedcubotainer1100.001250.00
Hake HGT300-50086.0077.9089.00
Squid tubesRussia66.9075.0070.0067.00
Atlantic salmon 6-7Norway223.00
Atlantic salmon 7-8Norway215.00227.00
Trout 0.9-1.8Chile190.00
Trout 1.8-2.7Chile210.00
Trout 2.7-4.0Chile225.00
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