Outlook for imports of APO fillets and hake products on the Russian market
The Russian market of Alaska pollock fillets in the second half of the current year 2006 can be characterized as rather soft. Supply greatly exceeds demand and importers have large cold storage inventories of fillets imported to Russia from China in the summer months, according to late October reports from trading sources in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s main entry port for imported seafood.
Despite Chinese forecasts of a quick rise of prices of APO fillets due to a sharp appreciation of raw material, prices for the product on the Russian market have not yet displayed a growing trend. Meanwhile, European traders have stepped up offers of APO fillets in transit to European ports in containers at dumping prices.
As per late October, shortage of hake on the international market has been still noticeable. In autumn Russia traditionally switches from the South American hake hubbsi to the North American hake productus and as per end of October all the contracts for the season of 2006-2007 have been already concluded. The hake fishing season on the US grounds has already been closed, while in Canada the fishermen kept on catching hake, but all the production volumes, especially IQF hake, have been already contracted. At the end of the season many producers have switched to block frozen hake due to increased demand from Russia, the Ukraine and the Eastern European countries. Stable volumes of Canadian hake can be expected up through January current. After that Russian importers will have to switch to hake hubbsi, which costs at least 300-400 USD per tonne more than the North American hake of the same size. A considerable shortage of hake hubbsi, especially of large sizes (170 grams plus) has been observed not only in Russia, but on other traditional markets of Argentinian hake. That should lead to even greater rise of prices for products as well as to a further decrease in supplies of large head-off tail-off hake which is normally processed into fillets in Latin America.