Overview of Moscow's freshfrozen fish market as per third week of March 2010

March 19, 2010 12:56

As per the third week of March 2010 trade in freshfrozen seafood in Moscow has shown mixed price trends, analysts of www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) concluded after analyzing the current situation on the market.

As per 16 March 2010 Russia's total harvest of finfish and other aquatic species amounted to ca.920,900 tonnes, 167,500 tonnes up on the corresponding result of 2009. The TACs were covered at 22.6%, 22.2% up on the corresponding result of last year.

At the meeting in Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency devoted to the industry's results in 2009 and targets for 2010 the nation's First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has called it a key target to raise seafood production volumes and fulfill the production plan. Another target set by the nation's First Deputy PM is to increase shipments of domestic seafood onto the national market. Another important issue highlighted by Viktor Zubkov lies in formation of state orders for seafood for military units, schools, hospitals, kindergartens and other public institutions. First Deputy PM has also noticed that the industry should use bank loans more actively.

In the meantime, the Russian Government has approved the rules for subsidizing interest rates of bank loans for construction of specialized fish markets. According to the respective government's order No.1217, the Federal Fisheries Agency will quarterly subsidize 2/3 of interest rates to companies and entrepreneurs involved in such projects. For these purposes RUB187.37 million will be funded this year.

As estimated by the nation's Federal Fisheries Agency, up to 40-60 fish markets are expected to be built within coming three years, the first one in central Russia and in 2011, 2012 in Russia's coastal regions of as well.

The Lower House of Russia (State Duma) will consider a draft law for state regulation of sturgeon turnover during the current spring session. The State Fisheries Agency plans to control all the stages of fishing and farming. The draft law on state regulation of sturgeon turnover which has been developed for seven years will be introduced for consideration to the Lower House in the fourth week of March 2010 and its first reading may be conducted already in the spring session of the year.

Owners of 12 longliners have come to an agreement with Vnesheconombank (Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs) on a twenty-year installment period for their credit debts. (The bank loans were taken in early 1990s for construction of those vessels under the national guarantees.)

According to Russia's fishery industry head Andrey Krainy, they have already prepared a respective document giving the fishermen the right to pay the debt in installments during a period of 20 years with 2% interest rates. As soon as the vessels are registered to the Russian owners, the Agency will immediately issue the fishing permits to the vessels, Krainy said.

In the third week of March 2010, under the decision of the 38th session of the Mixed Russian-Norwegian Fisheries Commission, the Working Group met to discuss the results of the fleets' operations in 2009. More specifically, the registered harvest of the Russian vessels in 2009 did not exceed the total Russian quotas of cod and haddock. Catches of the Norwegian vessels did not exceed the nation's cod quotas either, but the haddock quota was exceeded by 7881 tonnes.

In general, as per the third week of March 2010 many active traders have noticed a general decline of prices. More specifically, decreases have been recorded for pollock, pink salmon, longfin codling Laemonema, Pacific herring, saury, blue whiting, capelin, pangasius and tilapia fillets, salmon caviar and some other products. So far traders cannot give clear explanation of such price changes. Some of them surmise that due to weakening exchange rate of USD and Euro to RUR the current conditions for external trade have been growing less favourable. Therefore the Russian fishermen have preferred shipping products to the domestic market. Due to the market saturation prices have been falling. Evidently, that is not the only factor influencing the prices. A determining factor may also be a declining demand.

Pink and chum salmon

As per the third week of March 2010 traders have been reporting a decline of pink salmon prices. Prices in Vladivostok have fallen from RUR85.00 to RUR75.00 per kilo.

The average price of head-on gutted pink salmon of good quality on the Moscow market starts from RUR85.00 per kilo. Pink salmon of medium quality has been offered at about RUR83.00-88.00 per kilo. Pink salmon w/r has been marketed from RUR82.00 to RUR88.00 per kilo. Headed pink salmon has been available from RUR105.00 to RUR110.00 per kilo.

Prices for head-on gutted chum salmon amount to ca.RUR88.00-90.00 per kilo. Headed and gutted chum salmon has been offered at RUR90.00-97.00 per kilo.

Salmon caviar

According to active traders, despite limited stocks of salmon caviar, prices for those products have slightly decreased. Maximum prices for salted caviar of premium quality amount to RUR1100.00 per kilo, while the average prices have decreased to RUR900.00-950.00 per kilo.

As per the third week of March 2010 pink salmon roe of medium quality fit for canning has been offered at RUR800.00-850.00 per kilo.

Atlantic salmon and trout

The price trends for Atlantic salmon have remained positive on the world market. According to the expert estimates, in the second half of March 2010 the salmon prices will rise again. In the period from 22 to 28 March 2010, the salmon prices will range from 38 NOK (4.7 Euro or 6.5 USD) to 40 NOK (4.9 Euro or 6.8 USD) per kilo. However, the prices may rise to 42 NOK per kilo (5.2 Euro or 7.1 USD) per kilo.

Exporters think that from 15 to 21 March 2010 the supply will be limited evidently due to that the fact that the bulk of products are used for production of smoked salmon enjoying a strong demand in the Easter period. As a result, prices may rise again.

In February 2010 export of Norwegian salmon to Russia rose by 118% in value to 181 million NOK. Russia is the third largest export market for the Norwegian salmon: in February 2010 the share of Russia in the Norwegian salmon export amounted to ca.90% of the total export value of exported Norwegian salmon.

As for the Russian market, prices for frozen salmon have remained comparably stable even with a certain downward trend. Along with some other factors, the price decline can be also attributed to the decreased exchange rate of Euro to RUR, according to the market participants.

Norwegian salmon SUPERIOR has been offered in Moscow from RUR260.00 per kilo of the size 4-5, from RUR260.00 per kilo of the size 5-6, from RUR260.00 per kilo of the size 6-7, from RUR270.00 per kilo of the size 7-8 and from RUR280.00 per kilo of the size 8-9.

Chilean salmon PREMIUM has been marketed from RUR215.00 per kilo of the size 4-5, from RUR235.00 per kilo of the size 5-6, from RUR245.00 per kilo of the size 6-7 and from RUR250.00 per kilo of the size 7-8.

Chilean salmon INDUSTRIAL has been traded from RUR185.00 per kilo of the size 4-5, from RUR215.00 per kilo of the size 5-6, from RUR225.00 per kilo of the size 6-7 and from RUR230.00 per kilo of the size 7-8.

As per the third week of March 2010 Norwegian trout SUPERIOR has been offered in Moscow at following prices: from RUR252.00 per kilo of the size 0.9-1.8, from RUR260.00 per kilo of the size 1.8-2.7, from RUR270.00 per kilo of the size 2.7-3.6, from RUR277.00 per kilo of the size 3.6-4.5, and from RUR280.00 per kilo of the sizes 4.5+.

Chilean trout PREMIUM has been available in Moscow from RUR225.00 per kilo of the size 0.9-1.8, from RUR235.00 per kilo of the size 1.8-2.7, from RUR255.00 per kilo of the size 2.7-4.0, from RUR245.00 per kilo of the size 3.6-4.5 and from RUR245.00 per kilo of the size 4.5+.

Rainbow trout of various sizes from Spain has been sold in Moscow from RUR190.00 per kilo.

Herring

According to the Norwegian sources, the large-scale Norwegian fishery of spring-spawning herring has been closed for a long time, but some of the vessels continue operations at the south coast of Norway. As per 15 March 2010, the Norwegian herring harvest in the Norwegian Sea from the beginning of the year has reached 500,000 tonnes. The quota of 894,600 tonnes has been covered by 56% already.

As for the market developments, traders have been reporting mixed price trends. While the market of Atlantic herring has remained stable, the Pacific herring market has been displaying a price fall.

According to a spokesman of one large trader in the Russian Far East, prices for Pacific herring 25+ and 27+ in Vladivostok have declined from RUR26.00 to RUR20.00 per kilo on the average.

The offer prices for Russian Atlantic herring in Murmansk amount to ca.RUR23.00-24.00 per kilo of the size 200-300 and ca.RUR26.50-28.00 per kilo of the size 300+ subject to large wholesale purchases.

Norwegian herring has been offered in Saint Petersburg at the following prices: from RUR26.50 per kilo of the size 300+, from RUR35.00 per kilo of the size 350+ and from RUR50.00-53.00 per kilo of the size 400+.

Norwegian butterfly herring fillets 5-8 have been traded in Saint-Petersburg from RUR45.00 per kilo, ex-coldstore, and the counts 6-10 and 8-12 have been offered correspondingly at RUR40.00-42.00 and RUR25.00-26.00 per kilo.

Icelandic herring fillets 4-8 and 5-8 have been offered ex-coldstore in Moscow at RUR47.00-49.00 per kilo.

Mackerel

As per the third week of March 2010, the situation on the Russian mackerel market has remained unchanged as compared to the previous week. The prices for products imported from most of supplying countries have remained stable, though there has been a certain increase of prices for large mackerel 600+.

In Saint Petersburg Norwegian mackerel has been offered from RUR69.00-73.00 per kilo of the size 300-500, from RUR105.00-115.00 per kilo of the size 400-600 and from RUR133.00-150.00 per kilo of the size 600+.

Scottish mackerel has been marketed in Saint Petersburg at the following prices: from RUR70.00 per kilo of the size 300-500, at RUR100.00-115.00 per kilo of the size 400-600 and at RUR130.00-143.00 per kilo of the size 600+.

Irish mackerel has been traded at RUR70.00 per kilo of the size 300-500, at RUR100.00 per kilo of the size 400-600 and at RUR130.00-143.00 per kilo of the size 600+ in Saint Petersburg.

Icelandic mackerel headed has been traded in Saint-Petersburg at RUR76.00 per kilo of the size 250+ and at RUR89.00 per kilo of the size 300+.

Russian headed mackerel has been offered ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg from RUR69.00 per kilo of the sizes 250-350 and 200-400 depending on producer and quality.

Baltic herring, Baltic sprat

As per the third week of March 2010 traders have been reporting a decline of prices for Baltic sprat. Especially noticeable decline has been observed for Swedish sprat prices, Estonian products have also slightly depreciated.

In particular, Estonian sprat 10-12 cm has been sold from RUR15.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg.

Swedish sprat 10-12 cm has been available at RUR20.00 per kilo in Saint Petersburg and RUR21.50 per kilo in Moscow.

As per the third week of March 2010, prices for Baltic herring have remained stable as compared to the previous week.

Russian herring 12-15 has been sold in Saint Petersburg at RUR21.00 per kilo ex-coldstore.

Estonian herring has been marketed ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg at RUR22.00-23.00 per kilo.

Finnish herring has been traded from RUR22.00 per kilo of the size 12-15 cm, RUR24.00 per kilo of the size 15-17.

Latvian herring 12-15 has been available ex-coldstore in Moscow at RUR22.00 per kilo.

Swedish herring 14-18 has been marketed at RUR25.00 per kilo in Saint Petersburg and at RUR26.50 per kilo in Moscow.

Capelin

In the Barents Sea activity on the capelin grounds has been gradually decreasing. Because of weak sales of frozen products landings in the port of Murmansk have turned into a problem due to the absence of available coldstore capacities. As per the beginning of the second half of March 2010, the Russian harvest of capelin from the beginning of the year has totaled 45,000 tonnes (the Russian quota take-up making 30%).

According to active traders, ca.18,000-20,000 tonnes of capelin have remained at Murmansk coldstores. Low activity of capelin shipments to other regions of Russia has resulted into overstocking of the coldstores and the fishermen's switch to other species.

As per the third week of March 2010, the supply of capelin of various quality and size has been plenty. Prices in Murmansk have started from RUR13.00 per kilo.

In Saint Petersburg Norwegian capelin has been available at following prices: RUR30.00-40.00 per kilo of the count 30-40, RUR23.00 per kilo of the count 35-45 and RUR20.00 per kilo of the count 40-50.

Russian capelin has been offered at RUR13.00-21.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Murmansk.

Blue whiting

According to the Norwegian sources, blue whiting prices have continued falling. From the beginning of the year the total sales of blue whiting at Norwegian auctions have approximated 94,000 tonnes, including 32,000 tonnes of blue whiting for humand consumption at the average prices of 2.11 NOK per kilo. As per 15 March 2010, the total Norwegian harvest of blue whiting in the Norwegian Sea since the fishery start has exceeded 111,000 tonnes with the quota of 205,800 tonnes covered at 54%.

As per the third week of March 2010, Irish blue whiting 25+ has been offered in Saint Petersburg at RUR29.50 per kilo. Russian blue whiting has been available in the city at RUR30.00-35.00 per kilo.

Alaska pollock

On the pollock market traders have been reporting a continuing price fall. As per the third week of March 2010, pollock prices in all the regions of Russia have decreased.

At present prices for headed pollock 25+ in Vladivostok amount to RUR37.00 per kilo.

As per the third week of March 2010, in Moscow pollock 20+ has been sold from RUR39.00 per kilo, while the sizes 25+, 30+ and 35+ have been correspondingly available from RUR50.00, RUR53.00 and RUR54.00 per kilo.

Prices for skinned Chinese pollock fillets IQF ex-coldstore in Moscow have been stable. More specifically, fillets 6-8 have been offered by many suppliers from RUR61.00 per kilo, the count 8+ has been traded from RUR62.00 per kilo subject to large wholesale lots.

Hake

As per the third week of March 2010, the hake prices on the Russian market have been showing mixed trends. Against a general price fall the hake prices have remained stable so far, in particular, for the North Pacific hake. Prices for Uruguayan hake have slightly decreased. Prices for Argentinean products have remained stable.

US hake HGT 300-500 interleaved has been offered from RUR75.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg.

Canadian HGT hake 300-500 interleaved has been sold ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg from RUR82.00 per kilo. Canadian 300-600 IQF has been sold in Saint Petersburg from RUR83.00-85.00 per kilo.

In Moscow HGT hake IQF from Uruguay has been offered at ca.RUR71.00 per kilo of the size 150-300, at ca.RUR71.00 per kilo of the size 300-500 and at RUR83.00 per kilo of the size 500+. Meat in discs and cubes has been marketed from RUR58.00-63.00 per kilo.

Prices for Argentinean HGT hake amount to RUR87.00 per kilo of the size 300-500, RUR98.00 per kilo of the size 500-800. Hake fillets 320+, 300+ and 120+ have been sold correspondingly at RUR130.00, 139.00 and RUR130.00 per kilo.

Chinese hake fillets skin-on have been sold ex-coldstore in Moscow at RUR73.00 per kilo of the count 6-8 and from RUR74.00 per kilo of the count 8+.

Squid

Trade in squid has showed stability with slight price ripples.

As per the third week of March 2010, prices for squid tubes in Vladivostok amount to ca.RUR75.00 per kilo on the average.

In Moscow Far East squid tubes have been prices at RUR80.00-85.00 per kilo on the average.

Cleaned squid tubes U10 and U5 of the Chinese origin have been traded in Saint Petersburg from RUR110.00 and RUR115.00-120.00 per kilo correspondingly.

Traders have started to offer giant squid fillets from Peru at RUR60.00 per kilo on the average.

Pangasius

In the third week of March 2010 prices for pangasius have kept declining. Despite the lack of the raw pangasius in Vietnam, prices for pangasius fillets in Russia have been decreasing which has been encouraged by a general decrease of whitefish prices on the market, weakening of the USD exchange rate and market demand.

In 2009 the pangasius market suffered from a ban on fillet imports to Russia imposed by Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor). In 2009 the total imports amounted to only 40,000 tonnes of fillets versus 118,000 tonnes in 2008. In 2010, if the importers do not get new barriers, the fillet import may dramatically increase despite a general decline of import shipments to Russia. Probably, such import rise of pangasius which has already become a popular product in Russia will also help maintain prices at low levels.

In Moscow and Saint Petersburg many large importers and wholesalers have reduced their average offer prices to RUR67.00 per kilo.

Most of wholesale offers in Moscow have been fluctuating at RUR70.00-75.00 per kilo.

Tilapia

As per the third week of March 2010, prices on the market of tilapia fillets have continued showing a negative trend.

More specifically, in Saint Petersburg tilapia fillets 3-5 ounces have been offered from RUR115.00 per kilo subject to prepayment, while the size 5-7 has been marketed at RUR118.00 per kilo.

Most of Moscow-based wholesalers have been offering prices at RUR120.00 per kilo of the count 3-5 and RUR125.00 per kilo of the count 5-7.

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