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