Overview of Moscow's freshfrozen fish market as per fourth week of October 2008

October 31, 2008 16:29

As per the fourth week of 2008 the Moscow freshfrozen seafood market has been marked by lower activity as compared to normally brisker trader closer to the end of the year, analysts of www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) concluded after analyzing the current situation on the market.

More specifically, the market has been caught in a kind of a closed circle as importers and suppliers cannot sell their products to retail chains because the retailers have to ask for long delays of payment up to 3 months caused by the banks' cautious crediting of the retailers. As a result, many large retailers have found their shelves half-empty and the range of products currently on offer has got much smaller.

In the meantime, media reports say that the banks have resumed provisional credit facilities for the retail chains. VTB and Sberbank have allegedly received applications from such chains as X5 Retail Group, Magnit, Dixi, Lenta, Okey, Seventh Continent, Holiday, Mosmart, Viktoria and Kopeika. The first credits under the program of state support have been already given to Sedmoy Kontinent and Magnit. The measure is supposed to help overcome the above problem.

The market participants speak about a rise of repudiations of imported products delivered to Russia. First of all, the repudiations have resulted from the importers' lack of cash. Then, according to a spokesman of one large fish company, the Russian importers have been probably trying to push down the prices of suppliers who will thus be compelled to agree to lower their charges rather than re-export the goods back and pay even more money for the operation.

Several importers have also had to switch to contracts valued in conventional or nominal units due to large fluctuations of the exchange rates of the USD and Euro.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation has continued injections of funds into the banks which in their turn have started issuing loans. However the interest rates charged to seafood companies have considerably increased reaching 20-22% per year on the average. This development cannot but tell on seafood prices.

As per the fourth week of October 2008, the market of Moscow and the rest of the European Russia displays mixed price trends. In particular, one of the most prominent events is a dramatic drop of pangasius prices.

Pink salmon

As per the fourth week of October 2008 the situation on Moscow's pink salmon market remains on a par with last weeks with slightly downward fluctuations yet observed. The prices has stabilized for high quality pink salmon from leading producers and slightly decreased for the products of lower quality. The prices of head-on and gutted pink salmon at ports in the Russian Far East continue to grow to RUB56.00 per kilo, however so far the growth remains local due to further large simultaneous arrivals of such products to the coldstores of Moscow and the surrounding region.

The average price of frozen pink salmon remains at RUB68.00-70.00 per kilo for the lots from 10, 20 tonnes ex-coldstore for high quality products.

In Moscow w/r pink salmon silverside is offered from RUB68.00 per kilo for the lots from 10 tonnes, 1st graded head-on gutted pink salmon is traded from RUB68.00 per kilo on the same terms.

Prices of 1st grade pink salmon headed and gutted amount to RUB87.00-90.00 per kilo for the lots from 10 tonnes ex-coldstore in Moscow.

Pink salmon fillets skin-on IQF 300 grams are available at RUB95.00-112.00 per kilo.

Subject to the banks resuming credits for retailer suppliers and fish processors, the pink salmon prices are forecasted to start growing dynamically in view of the New Year celebrations.

Chum salmon

According to the market participants, as per the fourth week of October 2008 trade in chum salmon is also moderate. There are inventories of chum salmon harvested in the Amur River and Sakhalin at ports of Vanino, Nakhodka and Vladivostok. Prices for chum salmon head-on and gutted amount to ca.RUB84.00-87.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Moscow.

As per the fourth week of October 2008 headed chum salmon is offered from RUB85.00 to RUB95.00 per kilo. There are also offers of headed chum salmon harvested in 2007 from RUB77.00 per kilo.

Salmon roe

According to a spokesman of a large fish company, as per the fourth week of October 2008 some traditional suppliers of bulk salmon caviar have reduced their prices, but mostly for medium quality products and only for the sake of quick proceeds.

As per the fourth week of October 2008 large suppliers sell salted caviar in cubotainers from RUB1300 to 1400 per kilo in Moscow.

Canned salmon caviar is offered by Moscow processors at RUB170.00-190.00 per 140-gram can. Large processors are offering the product from ca.RUB175.00 per can. Salmon caviar in 100-gram glass jar is traded from RUB150.00 per can.

Prices of caviar of other salmon species in Moscow have stabilized and ceased rising. In particular, sockeye caviar is available in the capital from RUB1300.00 per kilo and the supply of the product is practically zero.

Chum salmon caviar fetches ca.RUB1400.00 per kilo.

In the fourth week of October 2008 Moscow traders also offer chinook salmon caviar from RUB1450.00 per kilo.

Caviar of coho salmon harvested in Kamchatka is marketed at ca.RUB1350.00 per kilo.

There are also offers of frozen pink salmon roe in sacks from RUB800.00 to RUB850.00 per kilo.

Atlantic salmon

A slight rise of export salmon prices in Norway has been observed for the second week running. In the fourth week of October 2008 the Norwegian exporters have sold 696 tonnes (64% down) of frozen salmon at a price of NOK31.95 per kilo. As a result, the export prices have grown by 6.4%.

In the period under review Moscow traders have been offering frozen Atlantic salmon of various sizes and quality, mainly from Norway and Denmark at relatively stable prices.

Meanwhile, the supply of frozen Atlantic salmon from Chile has grown smaller and the product prices have started rising gradually.

Traders have noted a lower supply of small sizes and a higher supply of large sizes.

On Moscow market the Atlantic salmon 1-2 superior originating from Norway is offered from RUB170.00 per kilo, while the sizes 5-6, 6-7, 7-8, 8-9 and 9+ are correspondingly offered from RUB240.00, RUB225.00-245.00, RUB226.00-RUB248.00, RUB250.00 and RUB251.00 per kilo.

Chilean salmon 2-3 premium is marketed from RUB160.00 per kilo, while the sizes 5-6 and 6-7 are traded from RUB210.00 and RUB212.00 per kilo respectively.


According to Moscow market participants, the supplies of frozen Chilean trout have been stable.

Prices of trout 1.8-2.7 remain unchanged with the minimal level of RUB177.00 per kilo and the highest level of RUB190.00 per kilo, while the size 2.7-4.0 is marketed at RUB176.00-185.00 per kilo.

Trout 1.8-2.7 Superior and 2.7-3.6 Superior both originating from Norway fetch from RUB180.00 per kilo.

Chilled products from Norway are offered on order from RUB180.00-185.00 per kilo.

Karelian chilled trout is marketed from RUB110.00 to RUB140.00 per kilo.


According to the Norwegian sources, the total volume of herring exports to Russia in the first nine months of the year 2008 amounted to 120,455 tonnes, 2.3 times down on 279,889 tonnes exported to the country in the same period in 2007.

In particular, the total volume of w/r, frozen herring shipped to Russia decreased to 85,541 tonnes in the first nine months of the year as compared to 221,621 tonnes in the same period 2007. Besides, the volume of exported frozen herring fillets dropped to 34,914 tonnes in 2008 versus 58,038 tonnes in the same period of 2007.

As per the fourth week of October 2008 the situation with herring supplies in Moscow is stable and the traders offer herring of various sizes.

More specifically, Russian herring 200-300 is offered ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg from RUB22.00 per kilo, while the sizes 250+ and 300+ are available from RUB23.00 and RUB29.00 per kilo correspondingly.

Poorly graded herring classified as large and fat is marketed at slightly increased prices from RUB23.00 per kilo.

Norwegian herring (in transit to coldstore) is offered in Saint Petersburg from RUB26.00 per kilo of the size 200-300, from RUB30.00 for the size 300+, from RUB36.00-41.00 per kilo of the size 350+, and from RUB 48.50-RUB55.00 for the herring 400+. Norwegian fresh frozen herring flaps 6-10 are available at RUB47.00-55.00 per kilo in St. Petersburg.

One importer of Norwegian herring is offering skinned herring fillets 40-70 from RUB54.30 per kilo and fillets 50-80 from RUB60.30 per kilo.

Some players say that the trade with Iceland starts moving and a whole shipload of herring fillets is on the way for landing in Murmansk.

The fishery of autumn herring with high fat content is actively progressing in the Russian Far East with catches reported as fairly good. In the end of October 2008 large catches of 10,000 tonnes are landed at the basin's ports. In the fourth week of October 2008 prices of Pacific herring 25+ have settled at RUB21.00-22.00 per kilo. Larger herring 300+ is offered at more than RUB28.00 per kilo. The demand is firm, the bulk of poorly graded herring classified as large and fat is mostly sold to Siberia and through to the Urals, while larger herring is processed at Primorye-based factories.


The mackerel fishery in Norway on the 43rd week has been impeded by rough weather. As a result, catches have considerably decreased. The average size of the harvested fish has varied at 386-499 grams and the average price amounts to NOK12.21 per kilo.

As per the fourth week of October 2008 Moscow traders are facing a gradual decrease of prices, except for prices of the largest sizes.

The minimum price of the Norwegian mackerel 300-500 in Saint Petersburg has gone down to RUB58.00 per kilo. The average prices amount to ca.RUB65.00. The size 400-600 is marketed from RUB86.00-92.00 per kilo, while the size 600+ is traded from RUB120.00 per kilo.

The Icelandic mackerel 300+ is offered ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg from RUB60.00 per kilo.

The Canadian mackerel 300-500 delivered in St. Petersburg is available at a price RUB66.00 per kilo, the mackerel 400-600 is marketed at RUB80.00-90.00 per kilo. The mackerel 600+ is offered in Moscow at RUB105.00 per kilo ex-coldstore.

The headed mackerel 200-400 produced in Scotland is available in St. Petersburg at RUB84.00 per kilo ex-coldstore. The size 400-600 is offered from RUB90.00 per kilo.

The Japanese headed mackerel 400-600 is marketed ex-coldstore from RUB70.00 per kilo in Saint Petersburg and from RUB77.00-100.00 per kilo in Moscow. The size 500-700 is sold in Saint Petersburg at RUB90.00 per kilo.

Small Japanese mackerel fit for canning is offered from 1.1 to 1.2 USD per kilo. However, market traders say that it will hardly enjoy a strong demand in Russia due to a considerable appreciation of the USD.

The price of headed Russian mackerel 200-300 amounts to RUB67.00 in Murmansk, RUB68.00-72.00 in St. Petersburg and RUB69.00 per kilo in Moscow. The supply has not been large while the prices have been stable.

Baltic herring, Baltic sprat

As per the fourth week of October 2008 the situation on the market of Baltic sprat and herring has been stable.

More specifically, Estonian sprat 10-12 cm in transit to coldstore is sold at RUB21.50 per kilo. Swedish sprat 10-12 cm is available ex-coldstore in Moscow from RUB24.80 per kilo. The same product in transit to coldstore is marketed at RUB23.00 in St. Petersburg.

Finnish herring is marketed in Saint Petersburg from RUB19.50 per kilo of the size 11-15 and RUB26.00-32.00 for the size 16-18. Swedish herring 14-18 is offered at RUB24.80 per kilo in Moscow, the size 18+ is available at RUB32.00 per kilo ex-coldstore.


As per the fourth week of October traders begin offering capelin originating from Iceland and Norway. One large importer sells capelin 40-50 ex-coldstore in Moscow at ca.RUB30.00 per kilo. Canadian capelin 30-40 is offered at RUB40.00 per kilo ex-coldstore. Other smaller suppliers offer the product at RUB47.00-48.00 per kilo.

Large Norwegian capelin 25-35 is offered from RUB45.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg.

Russian capelin is marketed ex-coldstore in Murmansk at RUB38.00-41.00 per kilo.

Blue whiting

According to industry sources, the blue whiting prices have started to decrease slightly. As per the fourth week of October 2008 blue whiting 20+ is offered at about RUB24.00 per kilo in Murmansk. In Saint Petersburg prices have stayed at RUB26.00 per kilo, while in Moscow the average price amounts to ca. RUB30.00 per kilo. Probably, in the short term outlook the price fall will start in the Central Russia as well.

Large importers ask from RUB26.00 to RUB29.50 per kilo of blue whiting. The average price charged by most of the wholesalers fluctuates at RUB27.00 per kilo.

Scottish blue whiting is offered ex-coldstore in Moscow and the surrounding region at RUB26.00-28.00 per kilo.

The blue whiting backs produced by Murmansk Trawl Fleet are offered at RUB42.00-48.00 per kilo ex-coldstore.

Traders have also launched sales of blue whiting fillet cubes originating from China at a price of RUB68.00 per kilo.

Russian pollock

As per the fourth week of October 2008 the Moscow traders speak about a continuing rise of prices of Russian pollock in the Far East. The prices of pollock in Moscow have also increased. As a result, the expensive pollock has ceased being an interesting object of commerce and the demand for it has been weakening in Moscow.

By the beginning of the third week of October 2008 pollock 25+ has been marketed in Moscow from RUB46.00 per kilo, while the sizes 30+ and 35+ have been available from RUB48.00 and RUB50-52 per kilo correspondingly. Traders say they have been facing a certain lack of the pollock supply and shortage of new arrivals.

As for pollock fillets, the market remains well supplied with double frozen pollock fillets coming from China. There are offers of skinned pollock fillets IQF 6-8 (180g) and 8+ (220+g). The average price of pollock fillets 6-8 amounts to RUB70.00-75.00 per kilo. In particular, IQF fillets 8+ (220+) fetch ca.RUB75.00 per kilo.


Despite poor hake fishery in Canada many Russian importers have received the volumes contracted before the fishery start. The year 2008 has been remarkable for the unusual situation with prices for the American hake which has turned out to be more expensive than Canadian hake, despite worse quality and smaller size.

As per the fourth week of October 2008, the situation with the prices for Canadian hake has been stable, while the American hake has been appreciating. Additional upwards pressure has been created by strengthening USD rate which has considerably increased through October 2008.

Hake from Ecuador is a good alternative to the North American hake. Though Ecuadorian hake is a quite different fish species with the Latin name of Merluccius gayi, the Russian customers have been actively purchasing the product.

In the meantime, the hake fishery out of commercial capture quotas has been officially resumed in the Pacific waters of the USA as of 12 October 2008. The US fishermen will try to exhaust their quotas in order to carry out their contract commitments.

Besides, the Russian importers also speak about a boost of offers from the South American suppliers, who have evidently lost a number of contracts due to the financial crisis and have to offer vacant product volumes. However, in a current situation their products are less interesting for the importers due to comparably high prices.

As per the fourth week of October 2008 HGT hake 300-500 from the USA is available at RUB95.00-99.00 per kilo in Moscow.

Canadian HGT hake 300-500 IQF is offered from RUB88.00 to 98.00, while the hake 300-600 IQF is marketed from RUB90.00 to RUB100.00 per kilo.

Argentinean interleaved hake 250-350 is sold from RUB110.00 per kilo. There are also offers of Argentinean interleaved skinned hake fillets 100-200 at RUB113.00 per kilo and interleaved skinned fillets 200-400 from RUB118.00 to RUB122.00 per kilo, while hake 400+ is marketed from RUB126.00 per kilo.

Skinned freshfrozen hake fillets 170-220 made in China are traded at RUB85.00 per kilo, while the interleaved size 200-250 is offered at RUB110.00 per kilo.

Uruguayan HGT hake is marketed at a price from RUB57.00 while hake fillets in cubes are sold at RUB64.00-70.00 per kilo. The hake from Ecuador 80-100 is offered at a price from RUB72.00, while the size 100-200 at a price from RUB80.00-85.00 per kilo, the size 200-400 is traded from RUB86.00 per kilo and hake 400-600 is marketed from RUB86.00-91.00 per kilo.


As per late October 2008 the price situation on the Moscow freshfrozen squid market has been changing.

The price formation has been influenced by large catches in the South West Atlantic. The European coldstores have been overfilled with the squid products from Latin America, while the Peruvian exporters have been going through difficult times in moving their products on the market. South African squid has been easier to sell as it is of better quality.

According to provisional official figures data, as per the 30 of September 2008 more than 43 000 tonnes of squid were harvested in the Russian Far East, up 26% or 9000 tonnes from the previous year level, though is still below the best year catches.

Some wholesalers expect the prices of squid to come up but the developments on the market are difficult to foresee because of the continued financial crisis influencing the market activity and contributing to the growth of import of cheap squid product from Argentina and China.

According to Moscow market players, the frozen squid market situation in the fourth week of October 2008 has been marked by slight growth of demand and prices of the new product arrivals.

More specifically, in the capital the minimum price of squid tubes harvested in 2008 and made by Vladivostok-based NBAMR has come down to RUB50.00 per kilo, while the maximum price amounts to ca.RUB57.00 per kilo.

Squid of the new season made by another big Russian producer Akros is offered by the company's Moscow subsidiary from RUB54.00 per kilo. The squid stocks have been considerably decreasing in the Russian Far East. The squid tubes of June-July manufacture are marketed at RUB50.00 - 51.00 per kilo. Squid tentacles are offered from RUB38.00 - 39.00 per kilo with discounts on large volumes.

There are offers of skinned squid tubes made by NBAMR at RUB110.00-125.00 per kilo, skinned wings of squid are marketed at RUB81.00 per kilo, squid rings are offered at RUB118.00 per kilo and the squid salad mix is available at RUB91.00 per kilo.

Argentinean cleaned tubes of illex squid are marketed at RUB60.00-77.00 per kilo while unclean squid tubes have depreciated to RUB43.00 per kilo.

Cleaned tubes made in China are offered at RUB60.00-75.00 per kilo depending upon the size. New Zealand squid tubes 200-300 are offered at RUB50.00-55.00 per kilo, Peruvian squid and squid fillets came down and are traded at RUB37.00 per kilo.


As per the fourth week of October 2008, a lot of containers with pangasius, tilapia and catfish have got tied up in Saint Petersburg harbor. Some industry insiders speculate that the goods have been rejected by the customer who has probably imported excessively large product volume and failed to pay for it. There is also an opinion that such behavior is typical for the Russian importers in a financial crisis. That is probably the way how the importers push down prices of the exporters who have been driven into a corner and forced to lower the prices rather than bear extra expenses for the re-export. One trader also says that the importers need to speed up the cash inflow and towards that end they are eager to get lower prices.

Evidently large landings of pangasius in Saint Petersburg have resulted into a drop of prices despite strengthening USD rate and other factors normally causing price rises. As per the fourth week of October 2008, prices for pangasius fillets in Saint Petersburg have already decreased to RUB51.00 per kilo.

Moreover, the situation in Vietnam is not so smooth either. Due to the problems connected with the lack of bank loans both for the importers and for the exporters the prices have come down by more than 50 USD per tonne.

As per the end of October 2008, the Vietnamese companies have been facing problems with pangasius exports.

State banks have been showing a stricter control when issuing loans, which in its turn has resulted into the processors' lack of money for the purchases of raw fish from the farmers.

Importers have also suffered from tougher restrictions for bank loans and prefer working with payment delays. That has caused stagnation in Vietnam's export sector.

As per the fourth week of October 2008, Moscow's market has been showing a brisk fall of prices for pangasius fillets. More specifically, the minimum price of pink fillets 200+ in Moscow amounts to RUB54.00 per kilo, while the maximum price has dropped to RUB67.00 per kilo.

There are also offers of fillets 600+ at ca.RUB75.00 per kilo.

White-colour fillets are sold from RUB75.00 per kilo in Saint Petersburg.

Moscow traders also offer other pangasius products such as HGT at RUB90.00-95.00 per kilo, steaks at ca.RUB50.00, and fillets in cubes delivered from Lithuania kept fetching RUB51.00 per kilo. Thus, the prices of pangasius products vary from RUB51.00 to RUB60.00 per kilo.


The saury fishery in the Kuriles in late October 2008 did not change much as compared to the situation in the previous weeks. Large catches of saury are being landed at ports of the Russian Far East. The price has stopped at RUB17.00 per kilo ex-coldstore. If the catch rates in November 2008 are good, prices will most probably continue to descend, because saury has a limited shelflife and it does not normally enjoy stable demand.

Average prices in Moscow, dateline 27 October 2008


SizeCountry of originPrice in RUB per kilo
Pink salmon head-on gutted1+Russia6972
Pink salmon w/r1+Russia6976.5
Chum salmon head-on gutted 7785.5
300+ 30.5 
Mackerel200-300 69 
300-500 58 
400-600 8393
Baltic sprat 21.523
Baltic herring 2632
Capelin 47 
Pangasius filletsVietnam5266
Blue whiting 2632
Headed Alaska pollock250+ 4648
350+ 4852
Salmon roe saltedcubotainerRussia13401450
Hake HGTUSA8895
Squid tubesRussia5157
Atlantic salmon 3-4 superiorDenmark190 
Atlantic salmon 1-2 superiorDenmark150 
Trout 2.7-4.0Chile182190
Trout 1.8-2.7Chile175177

Seller prices in Moscow as per 20 October 2008, RUB per kilo


SizeTPT DefaOOO UltrafishLobnensky KhladokombinatOOO UnitradeOOO Brig-StarOOO Morskoi Meridian "OOO TikhrybkomZAO Gulfstream
Pink salmon head-on gutted1+7269,5
Pink salmon w/r1+7069
Chum salmon head-on gutted8067
Baltic sprat10-1221,5
Baltic herring18+2632
Pangasius fillets-656166
Blue whiting9626,530
Headed Alaska pollock250+45,546
Salmon roe saltedcubotainer135013401450
Hake HGT300-500858897
Squid tubeRussia5557
Atlantic salmon 3-4 SuperDenmark
Atlantic salmon 1-2 SuperDenmark150
Trout 0.9-1.8Chile171
Trout 1.8-2.7Chile175177
Trout 2.7-4.0Chile180182
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