Overview of Moscow's freshfrozen fish market in October 2008

November 10, 2008 15:56

In October 2008 the Moscow freshfrozen seafood market has been marked by lower activity as compared to normally brisker trade 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.

In the beginning of the month, due to the financial crisis, many companies, retail chains including, have been suffering from the shortage of borrowed money to pay for seafood purchases. Rejected by the banks, the chains have forwarded the burden onto their suppliers and required longer delay of payments for shipped products. Due to the above, the product range in Moscow's shops has considerably decreased.

By the end of October 2008, after active injections of the Central Bank of Russia the nation's banks have resumed issuing loans for the fish sector but at higher interest rates of 18-25%. The development has caused extra pressure on product prices.

In view of continuing financial crisis many companies had to optimize their expenses by means of closure of non-profitable operations and reduction of their costs. In particular, importers have switched to smaller consignments of fish in order to speed up sales and turnover rather than to build up inventories. Most of the traders have switched to 100%-prepayment and avoided contracted payment delays.

In the end of October 2008 the railway tariffs for seafood transportation from the Russian Far East have been reduced and some market participants have been playing a waiting game hoping for a further reduction of the tariffs.

In the course of October 2008 Moscow and remaining market of the European part of Russia has been showing mixed price trends. Product prices have considerably increased for walleye pollock, capelin, and pelagic species. At the same time, traders have reported a decrease of pangasius prices.

Pink salmon

In the course of October 2008 the situation on Moscow's pink salmon market has remained stable. By October 2008 the prices have stabilized for high quality pink salmon from leading producers at RUB68.00-70.00 per kilo. In the meantime, prices for lower quality pink salmon have been fluctuating slightly.

In Moscow 1st graded w/r pink salmon silverside has been offered from RUB68.00 per kilo for the lots from 10 tonnes, 1st graded head-on gutted pink salmon has been 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 have been available at RUB95.00-112.00 per kilo.

Chum salmon

According to the market participants, in October 2008 trends in the chum salmon market have completely repeated those on the pink salmon market. Trade in chum salmon has been moderate with no large price fluctuations being observed.

Prices for chum salmon head-on and gutted have amounted to ca.RUB84.00-87.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Moscow.

In October 2008 headed chum salmon has been offered from RUB85.00 to RUB95.00 per kilo.

Salmon roe

Prices for salmon roe which have been actively rising in late September 2008 and in the beginning of October 2008, have stabilized in the middle of October and by the end of the month they have even slightly decreased.

In spite of a strong demand for salmon roe, traders have been in no hurry to sell off their products, they have rather preferred to stretch sales till closer to the end of the year. Many traders still hope that in December 2008 salted salmon roe will appreciate dramatically. According to a spokesman of a large fish company, it has become clear that the crisis has had practically no impact onto sales of seafood delis such as salmon roe, crab and scallops. Taking into account that salmon roe belongs to the premium segment, buyers have kept purchasing high quality salmon roe in the same volumes.

In October 2008 large suppliers have been selling salted caviar in cubotainers from RUB1300 to 1400 per kilo in Moscow.

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

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

Chum salmon caviar has fetched ca.RUB1400.00 per kilo.

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

Atlantic salmon

In October 2008 the situation on Moscow's Atlantic salmon market has been comparably stable. Prices for Atlantic salmon originating from Norway and Denmark have been relatively stable, while prices of Chilean salmon have been gradually rising.

The supply of small sizes has been decreasing versus increasing supply of large sizes.

On Moscow market the Atlantic salmon 1-2 superior originating from Norway has been offered from RUB170.00 per kilo, while the sizes 5-6, 6-7, 7-8, 8-9 and 9+ have been 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 has been marketed from RUB160.00 per kilo, while the sizes 5-6 and 6-7 have been traded from RUB210.00 and RUB212.00 per kilo respectively.


In October 2008, Moscow's market of frozen trout has been showing a stable rise of prices. In particular, prices of Chilean trout of all the sizes have been rising.

From the beginning of the month the minimum price of the Chilean trout 1.8-2.7 has grown from RUB168.00 to RUB177.00 per kilo, while the maximum price has remained at RUB190.00 per kilo, prices for trout 2.7-4.0 have been fluctuating from RUB176.00 to RUB185.00 per kilo.

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

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

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


In October 2008 the situation on the herring market has been tense. In the beginning of the month the Russian market has been showing a dramatic shortage of herring of all the sizes, and only by the end of the month the supply has slightly increased. A strong shortage of herring on the market has been complicated by continuing crisis which has caused a lack of funds for the importers' purchases on the international market.

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.

Some players say that the trade with Iceland has started moving and a whole shipload of herring fillets (900 tonnes of herring fillets and 1000 tonnes of capelin roe namely) has been on the way for landing in Murmansk.

In the second half of October 208 the herring supply has begun growing and by the end of the month the situation has stabilized.

More specifically, Russian herring 200-300 has been 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 has been marketed at slightly increased prices from RUB23.00 per kilo.

Norwegian herring (in transit to coldstore) has been 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 RUB48.50-55.00 for the herring 400+. Norwegian fresh frozen herring flaps 6-10 have been available at RUB47.00-55.00 per kilo in St. Petersburg.


In October 2008 the mackerel market has displayed a shortage of large size fish. By the end of the month shipments from mackerel fishery continuing in Norway have weakened the shortage, though the situation has been complicated by the financial crisis, limiting paying capacity of the Russian importers.

In the second half of October 2008 Moscow traders have been facing a gradual decrease of prices for Norwegian mackerel, except for prices of the largest sizes.

In the meantime, prices for the Canadian mackerel have been relatively stable in view of strong demand.

The supply of Russian mackerel has been comparably limited, while the prices have been fairly stable.

The minimum price of the Norwegian mackerel 300-500 in Saint Petersburg has gone down from RUB70.00 to RUB58.00 per kilo. The size 400-600 has depreciated from RUB95.00 to RUB86.00 per kilo, while the size 600+ has been traded at stable prices of RUB120.00 per kilo.

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

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

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

The Japanese headed mackerel 400-600 has been 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 has been sold in Saint Petersburg at RUB90.00 per kilo.

The price of headed Russian mackerel 200-300 has amounted to RUB67.00 in Murmansk, RUB68.00-72.00 in St. Petersburg and RUB69.00 per kilo in Moscow.

Baltic herring, Baltic sprat

In the course of October 2008 the situation on the market of Baltic sprat and herring has displayed slight changes, though in general it has been stable. In the beginning of the month Moscow's suppliers have switched to sales of Baltic sprat straight from the transit to coldstore in Saint Petersburg, without building up the inventories. The product prices have been stable during the whole month.

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

In the meantime, the market of Baltic herring has been showing a slight decrease of prices for small sizes against a rise of prices for large sizes.

In particular, Finnish herring has been 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 has been offered at RUB24.80 per kilo in Moscow, the size 18+ is available at RUB32.00 per kilo ex-coldstore.


In October 2008 the situation on the capelin market has been difficult. The supply of capelin, especially of small sizes, has been extremely short practically throughout October 2008. The traders have been offering Canadian capelin, and only by the end of the month the traders have begun offering capelin from Iceland and Norway.

As compared to the beginning of the month under analysis capelin 30-40 has appreciated from RUB43.00 to RUB47.00 per kilo. By the end of the month traders have started offering large Norwegian capelin 25-35 from RUB45.00 per kilo ex-coldstore in Saint Petersburg.

Russian capelin has appreciated in Murmansk from RUB35.00 to RUB38.00 per kilo ex-coldstore.

Blue whiting

During October 2008 the trends of blue whiting prices have been mixed. In the beginning of October 2008 traders have noticed an increase of prices both in Murmansk, Saint Petersburg and in Moscow. According to the market participants, the demand for the Russian products has been strong versus a comparably poor demand for imported products. By the end of the month the prices have started to slightly weaken. While in early October blue whiting ex-coldstore in Murmansk was offered from RUB25.00-26.00 per kilo, by the end of the month the price dropped to RUB24.00 per kilo.

Large importers have been asking from RUB26.00 to RUB29.50 per kilo of blue whiting. The average price charged by most of the wholesalers has been fluctuating at RUB27.00 per kilo.

Scottish blue whiting has been 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 have been 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

In October 2008 Moscow traders have noted a dramatic rise of prices of walleye pollock from the Russian Far East. Beginning from the second week of October 2008 prices for pollock of all the sizes have started growing by ca.RUB2.00 per week. As a result, in the course of the month pollock 250+ has appreciated from RUB40.00 to RUB46.00 per kilo, while the prices for the sizes 300+ and 350+ have correspondingly rose from RUB42.00 to RUB48.00 per kilo and from RUB48.00 to RUB52.00 per kilo.

According to a spokesman from one large fish company, the expensive pollock has ceased being an interesting object of commerce and the demand for it has been weakening in Moscow.

As for pollock fillets, the average price of double-frozen pollock fillets 6-8 originating from China has remained at RUB70.00-75.00 per kilo. IQF fillets 8+ (220+) have fetched ca.RUB75.00 per kilo.


Throughout October 2008 the Russian market has been showing a lack of hake of all possible origin. The shortage has been caused by poor hake fishery in the USA (the species has been underfished at 100,000 metric tons) and in Canada. The situation with US hake prices has been unsual with the fish turning out to be more expensive than the Canadian product despite worse quality and smaller size of the US hake.

In the South America, due to persistent problems with the stock, the harvest of hake has been also low. In October 2008 the price of HGT hake has reached 3 USD per kilo FOB, which means the final price unaffordable for the Russian consumer. Extra upward pressure has been created by strengthening USD rate, which has greatly increased in October 2008.

Through the month HGT hake 300-500 originating from the USA has appreciated from nearly RUB90.00 to RUB100.00 per kilo.

Canadian HGT hake 300-500 IQF has been offered from RUB88.00 to RUB98.00 per kilo, while the size 300-600 IQF has been marketed from RUB90.00 to RUB100.00 per kilo.

Argentinean interleaved hake 250-350 has been available from RUB110.00 per kilo.

There have also been offers of Argentinean hake fillets 100-200 boneless and interleaved from RUB113.00 per kilo, while the sizes 200-400 and 400+ have been sold at RUB118.00-122.00 per kilo and from RUB1126.00 per kilo correspondingly.

Skinned Chinese hake fillets 170-220 have been traded at RUB85.00 per kilo, while Chinese boneless interleaved fillets 200-250 have been marketed at RUB110.00 per kilo.

Uruguayan HGT hake has been marketed at a price from RUB57.00 while hake fillets in cubes have been available at RUB64.00-70.00 per kilo. The hake from Ecuador 80-100 has been 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 has been traded from RUB86.00 per kilo and hake 400-600 has been marketed from RUB86.00-91.00 per kilo.


In October 2008 the situation on the Moscow freshfrozen squid market has been calm.

More specifically, in the capital prices for squid tubes harvested in 2008 and made by Vladivostok-based NBAMR have been fluctuating at about RUB53.00-57.00 per kilo. By the end of the month spokesmen from companies based in the Russian Far East have been speaking about a reduction of squid coldstore inventories in the region and a comparable rise of prices. However, as per the end of October 2008, the price rise in the Russian Far East has not yet told on the product prices in Moscow.

NBAMR-made skinned tubes have been traded at stable prices at RUB110.00-125.00 per kilo, while skinned wings have been offered at RUB81.00 per kilo, rings - from RUB118.00 and salad mix - from RUB91.00 per kilo.

In October 2008 the market has been pressed by the Argentinean squid. Argentinean cleaned illex squid tubes have been on sale from RUB60.00 to RUB77.00 per kilo. Non-cleaned squid tubes have been offered from RUB43.00 per kilo.

Cleaned squid tubes originating from China have been offered from RUB60.00 to RUB75.00 per kilo depending on the size.

New Zealand squid tubes 200-300 have been sold at RUB50.00 to RUB55.00 per kilo.

Peruvian giant squid fillets have been marketed from RUB37.00 per kilo.


In October 2008 the situation on the Russian market of Vietnamese pangasius fillets has been stable, however by the end of the month the prices have dramatically decreased from ca.RUB56.00 to RUB50.00 per kilo in Saint Petersburg. The reason behind that has been in the excessive market supply caused by accumulation of a large number of repudiated containers at ports and in transit to coldstores.

As per late October the minimum price of pink-coloured pangasius fillets 200+ in Moscow has decreased to RUB54.00 per kilo, and the maximum price has gone down to RUB67.00 per kilo.

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