Overview of seafood exports from the Russian Far East to April 2009. Part 1.

June 17, 2009 16:43

April normally features a start of abundant shipments of frozen pollock roe of the Russian origin to main directions and the current April 2009 has been no exception of the rule, though the shipments to China have showed much slower development, according to the overview prepared by analysts of http://www.fishnet-russia.com/ (https://www.fishnet.ru/) based on Japanese and Russian sources.

As for the other products, in April 2009 the shipments of live crab of the Russian origin to Japan have been progressing fairly actively, although problems with the condition of the stocks have been well known and the authorities have been undertaking active efforts towards reduction of the scales of the illegal fishery.

Salmon

In April 2009 despite continuous fishery break the import volume of frozen sockeye of the Russian origin to Japan jumped as compared to March 2009 more than 10 times and amounted to 360 tonnes versus only 31 tonnes last year. Presumably, in April 2009 the traders cleared at customs those products which were shipped several months ago but failed to find customers then. The average import price amounted to only ca.515 Yen per kilo versus more than 900 Yen per kilo in March 2009 and ca.700 Yen per kilo in April 2008. However, even a dramatic boost of the import volume in April 2009 could not help the total result through the first four months of the year reach the last year result with the import volume in January-April 2009 amounting to only 1600 tonnes, 35% down on the corresponding figure of last year. The average import price decreased by 30 Yen per kilo to a little more than 450 Yen per kilo.

Shipments of other salmon species of the Russian origin to Japan were not registered in April 2009. Imports of Russian salmon to China developed much slower in April 2009 than in the previous month, and the total shipments through the month were reported at ca.90 tonnes, 94% down on last year when the fleets imported ca.1400 tonnes (four times down on March 2009), however thanks to brisker activity in the first quarter of the year the import volume grew more than twice to ca.325 tonnes while the average import price through the period under analysis went down by 93% on last year to 1.60 USD per kilo. In the meantime, in April 2009 the average price amounted to nearly 2.75 USD per kilo, which was in much better keeping with prices for sockeye, rather than for chum salmon and pink salmon, which normally contribute the bulk of the Chinese import of frozen salmon of the Russian origin.

Importation of frozen Russian salmon roe to Japan in April 2009 was not registered at customs.

Pollock roe

In April 2009 the rates of the Japanese import of frozen Russian pollock roe grew much brisker, which was attributed to the actual start of shipments from the season 2009, the product lots having been purchased at April auctions in Pusan where the Russian producers began offering products with the production dates of January, February and even March 2009. The import volume to Japan reached 2530 tonnes up from only 30 tonnes in March 2009 and 6% up on April 2008. The total import volume in the first four months of the year already by the start of May 2009 approached 4000 tonnes (ca.3900 tonnes namely), 20% up on last year.

The average import price CIF for Japan in April 2009 returned to the level of 1000 Yen per kilo after a March decrease to less than 860 Yen per kilo, but as compared to last year it was nearly 20% or 245 Yen per kilo down which was in perfect keeping with the main price trend for the Japanese purchases of frozen raw material of the Russian origin in the current season.

The rates of its import to the South Korea in April 2009 got also boosted and some market specialists thought that a considerable share of imported products was contributed by the products meant for further import to Japan and not for sale on the South Korean market. The import volume in April amounted to nearly 600 tonnes, almost 50% up on March 2009 and 15% up on April 2008. The average import price on CIF terms amounted to 8.65 USD per kilo, 40% up on March 2009 and even 0.30 USD per kilo up on last April, although the general level of prices for the Russian products at auctions considerably decreased. (The above development created grounds for speculations that a considerable share of April shipments was meant for further shipments to Japan).

Progressing of the Chinese import of the Russian pollock roe also grew brisker in April 2009, but its volume was limited to only 100 tonnes, twice down on last year, however the market specialists did not hurry to estimate the general outlook for shipments during the season, because such got only started. The average import price (also CIF) amounted to only ca.4.75 USD per kilo, 33% down on 7.00 USD per kilo in April 2008. Probably, the prices for the product shipments to China in April 2009 already reflected the situation with the prices for the Russian products at auctions in Pusan.

Pollock and cod species

The Chinese import of frozen pollock and other cod species of the Russian origin in April 2009 was progressing much quicker than in March 2009, however as compared to last year the dynamics of the import remained very weak. The volume of the April import amounted to only 6300 tonnes, only 1000 tonnes up on March 2009, however it was 87% weaker than last year. And the total import volume for the period from the beginning of the year amounted to only ca.21,200 tonnes, 85% down on the import volume for the period from January 2008 to April 2008. The average import price in April 2009 amounted to ca.1.95 USD per kilo versus 2.05 USD per kilo in March 2009, but more than 20% up on April 2008. In general for the period under analysis it grew by 27% and reached 2.00 USD per kilo.

The Japanese import of frozen pollock of the Russian origin in April 2009 was not registered, while import of frozen cod was limited to less than 55 tonnes, practically twice down on March 2009 and 60% down on April 2008. In January-April 2009 the import amounted to 360 tonnes, 45% down on last year. The average import price in April 2009 just like in March 2009 amounted to only 256 Yen per kilo, 25% down on last April. The average price for January-April 2009 decreased by 46% to only ca.270 Yen per kilo.

Surimi

The volume of the Japanese import of pollock surimi of the Russian origin to Japan amounted to ca.25 tonnes in April 2009, twice down on March 2009. The total volume of shipments for the period amounted to ca.100 tonnes, while last year in the first six months the shipments were not registered at all. The average import price decreased by 13% as compared to last year to ca.440 Yen per kilo.

Herring

The volume of the Japanese import of frozen herring of the Russian origin in April 2009 decreased by one third on March 2009 and amounted to only 340 tonnes, and as compared to last year it went down by 46%. In general for the period since the beginning of the year it went also down greatly to only 3000 tonnes with a drop of 46%. The average import price in April 2009 was higher than in March 2009 by 18%, but it did not reach 100 Yen per kilo and amounted to only 96 Yen per kilo, however as compared to last year it declined by 15%. In January-April 2009 it decreased even more, by 26% namely, and amounted to only 90 Yen per kilo.

In April 2009 the volume of shipments of Russian herring fillets processed in China declined as compared to March by more than 10% to less than 480 tonnes. As compared to last year it went down by 23%, however thanks to more active progressing of seafood import in the first quarter of the year the total result through the period grew by 18% to ca.2200 tonnes, with the average import price rising nearly by 5% to ca.420 Yen per kilo (in April 2009 it amounted to ca.425 Yen per kilo).

Bottomfish

The Japanese import of frozen halibut, both black and white, of the Russian origin in April 2009 grew much brisker and the import volume jumped nearly by 130% on March 2009 to 350 tonnes, but in April 2008 the shipments were almost 20% higher. In general for the first four months of the year the shipments of the Russian products went down by more than 35% and did not reach even 900 tonnes. At the same time the average import price decreased by 8% to ca.580 Yen per kilo and in April 2009 it was below 570 Yen per kilo.

The Japanese import of frozen Russian flounder reached 400 tonnes in April 2009, five times up on March 2009 and 35% up on April 2008. Nevertheless, the shipments through January-April 2009 went down nearly by 20% failing to reach 800 tonnes. The average import price for the period under analysis amounted to only ca.235 Yen per kilo, more than 20% down on last year, and in April 2009 the average price decreased by 34% to only 200 Yen per kilo.

The Chinese importers purchased only ca.120 tonnes of frozen Russian flounder in April 2009, 86% down on last year. In the first four months of the year the traders imported only 720 tonnes of flounder, 76% down on last year. The average import price for the period was limited to 1.20 USD per kilo, ca.20% down on the corresponding period of last year.

The volume of imported halibut of the Russian origin in January-April 2009 also amounted to ca.720 tonnes, 28% down on last year, while in April 2009 the traders imported less than 200 tonnes, more than 60% down on last year, with the average import price being very low at only 1.70 USD per kilo versus nearly 3.00 USD per kilo in April 2008. The average indications for the period were limited to less than 1.50 USD per kilo.

Shrimp

The Japanese import of frozen shrimp of the Russian origin in April 2009 decreased to only 650 tonnes, 40% down on March 2009 and 53% down on April 2008. The total volume of shipments through the first four months of the year declined practically by 30% to only 2900 tonnes. The average import price in April 2009 however remained at 1100 Yen per kilo, approximately 2% down on last year. However in general for the period it increased by 5% to ca.1150 Yen per kilo.

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