Overview of Russian fish import, export and production in January-June 2008

August 15, 2008 15:38
Russia increased the catch of fish by 4% to 1.571 million tonnes in the first half of 2008 compared to the same period of 2007, according to Interfax report based on the data provided by Alexander Savelyev, the State Fisheries Committee's PR director.

The production of fish products in Russia increased by 24% to 1.662 million tonnes during the same period.

In the first half of 2008 fish imports also rose by 24% to 480,870 tonnes in volume terms and by 29% to RUB 20.57 billion in value terms.

There are 14 main countries supplying fish to the Russian Federation and they accounted for 77.8% or 374,700 tons of total imports in the first half.

The biggest suppliers in the period were Norway (with 30.5% of total Russian imports or 146,800 tonnes), Vietnam (with 8% or 38,600 tonnes), China (with 6.9% or 33,400 tonnes), the UK (with 5.4% or 25,970 tonnes), and Denmark (with 4.6% or 22,200 tonnes).

Frozen fish accounted for 51.3% of total imports in the first half of 2008, while fresh and chilled fish accounted for 6.2%. Fish fillets accounted for 17.6% of total Russian imports and shellfish accounted for 6%. The share of frozen fish in overall imports shrank by 1.1% mainly because of fewer imports of frozen herring, while the share of fish fillets grew by 7%.

The bulk of fish fillet imports consists of various types of processed herring. Norway in the period January-June 2008 increased frozen herring exports to Russia to 3,067 tonnes from 1,122 tonnes in January-June 2007.


Russia also boosted fish exports in the first half of 2008. The export sales increased by 16% to 678,100 tonnes by volume and by 15% to RUB29.4 billion by value.

In the period January-June 2008 ten countries imported 85.5% or 579,500 tonnes of Russian fish. The main export markets for Russian fish were South Korea (with 33% or 223,600 tonnes of total Russian exports), China (with 19.8% or 134,400 tonnes), Japan (with 7.7% or 52,400 tonnes) and the UK (with 7.4% or 50,500 tonnes).

It is worth noting that Russia increased its fish exports to China by 23,300 tonnes, the UK - by 15,300 tonnes, Japan - by 18,100 tonnes, Nigeria - by 14,100 tonnes and Canada - by 11,000 tonnes. The UK, Nigeria and Canada were the main consumers of frozen blue whiting, the export of which grew by 100% in the first half of 2008. South Korea and Japan increased purchases of frozen Alaska pollock by 15% and by 100% respectively.

During the first half of 2008 Russia increased the exports of Alaska pollock by 13%, cod - by 18% and blue whiting - by 110%. The growth was the result of higher catches of these species (the catch of Alaska pollock grew by 11%, while the catch of cod increased by 20%) and increased demand for them in Asia and Europe.

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