Pelagics, pollock and pangasius emerging as chief news makers on Moscow's freshfrozen fish market as per third week of March 2009

March 19, 2009 12:07

As per the third week of February 2009 trade in freshfrozen seafood in Moscow has shown mixed price trends for several frozen fish products, analysts of ( concluded after analyzing the current situation on the market.

As one of the most important events of the week, Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) has agreed to inspect selected US processing plants and to visit US laboratories controlling safety of seafood shipped to Russia. Specialists from the US Food and Drug Administration, in their turn, will study the Russian system of food safety control and check Russian processing plants willing to export their fish products to the USA.

Reports have come about a 50% reduction of the hake quota in the USA to implicate possible repercussions for the Russian market of this popular commodity. The total volume of the commercial quota 2009 for the USA and Canada has been reportedly set at only 184,000 tonnes. The US share of the quota has been left at ca.74% of the total allocation, thus the US fishermen will be allowed to harvest only ca.135,940 tonnes of hake, while in 2008 they were allowed to harvest more than 269,500 tonnes.

The Russian and Norwegian capelin fisheries have been progressing at different rates. The total harvest of capelin by the Norwegian vessels through the third week of March 2009 amounted to 62,300 tonnes. During the week the sales of capelin for roe production amounted to 27,800 tonnes. For food consumption the sales amounted to 17,200 tonnes, for industrial purposes they sold 17,300 tonnes. A comparably large volume of capelin sales to the factories in the south of Norway could be attributed to strong demand for roe capelin on the markets of Eastern Europe.

With the quota approved at 223,600 tonnes, the Norwegian harvest of capelin since the beginning of the year amounted to ca.176,000 tonnes (take-up of 78.7%), the remainder therefore totaling 47,000 tonnes. As per the beginning of the second half of March 2009 the total harvest of capelin by the Russian vessels since the start of the year amounted to 45,000 tonnes thus making up 30% of the Russian quota.

According to provisional figures, from the beginning of the season the pollock harvest in the West Kamchatka subarea totaled 145,000 tonnes, with the area's quota thus covered at 49.3%. In the North Okhotsk subarea the commercial pollock quota was covered at 44.1% with the harvest reported at 126,000 tonnes. In the Kamchatka-Kurile subarea the Russian fishermen harvested 140,000 tonnes of pollock, the quota covered at 76.4%.

The total harvest of pollock in the Sea of Okhotsk amounted to 412,800 tonnes from the beginning of the season, of which Vladivostok fishermen contributed 154,500 tonnes, Kamchatka fishermen harvested 137,800 tonnes, Sakhalin fishermen harvested 64,300 tonnes of pollock, Khabarovsk fleets harvested 34,100 tonnes, the fishermen from Magadan and Chukotka correspondingly harvested 14,500 tonnes and 7600 tonnes. The total quota take-up amounted to 51% versus 58% last year during the same period. At the same time, in natural figures the total pollock harvest in 2009 has exceeded the respective figure of last year by 43,500 tonnes.

As per the third week of March the frozen seafood market of Moscow has been showing mixed price trends. In particular, there is a certain decrease of prices for pelagic fish products such as imported herring and mackerel. Besides, pollock has also started to depreciate gradually. Against the background of actively progressing capelin fishery, prices for capelin, in particular, for Norwegian capelin, have been declining.

At the same time, there has been an unexpected rise of prices for pangasius fillets by RUB4.00-5.00 per kilo on the average. That could be explained only by decreased inventories previously imported by large companies and probably by a collusion, because practically all the large importers have increased their product prices on one and the same day. Blue whiting has slightly appreciated due to limited catches and landings. The latter has been connected with the fact that the bulk of the fleet has been engaged in capelin fishery.

Average frozen fish prices in Moscow as per 16 March 2009


SizeCountry of originPrice in RUB per kilo
Pink salmon head-on gutted1+Russia91.00105.00
Pink salmon w/r1+Russia85.0095.00
Chum salmon headedRussia98.00115.00
Chum salmon head-on gutted85.0096.00
Baltic sprat27.0028.50
Baltic herring34.00
Blue whiting28.0036.00
Alaska pollock headed250+61.0066.00
Salmon roe saltedcubotainerRussia900.001250.00
Hake HGTUSA78.0092.00
Squid tubesRussia65.0075.00
Atlantic salmon 6-7Norway230.00
Atlantic salmon 7-8Norway235.00240.00
Trout 2.7-4.0Chile215.00
Trout 1.8-2.7Chile225.00
Seller prices in RUB per kilo in Moscow as per 9 March 2009

Ultrafish OOO

Russian Fish Company ZAOMorskoy MeridianTikhrybkom OOOTPK Irna OOOTalex GroupOcean TK OOO
Pink salmon head-on gutted1+90.90105.0097.00106.00
Pink salmon w/r1+89.9085.0095.00
Chum salmon headed98.00115.00
Chum salmon head-on gutted85.0086.0090.0096.00
Baltic sprat10-12
Baltic herring18+
Blue whiting28.19
Pollock headed250+65.9061.00
Salmon roe saltedcubotainer1100.001250.00
Hake HGT300-50086.0077.9092.00
Squid tubesRussia66.9075.0070.0067.0067.00
Atlantic salmon 6-7Norway230.00
Atlantic salmon 7-8Norway235.00235.00
Trout 0.9-1.8Chile200.00
Trout 1.8-2.7Chile215.00
Trout 2.7-4.0Chile225.00
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