Russian fishermen keep exporting bulk of pollock catches to China

March 29, 2010 09:52

In the middle of March 2010 the Russian fishermen have reached the psychologically important catch volume of 1 million metric tons, thus exceeding their last year result by 170,000 tonnes. However, retail prices have been rising, though not so much, reports ( with reference to RG.

In the meantime, seafood sales have been reportedly falling. According to Russia's Statistics Committee, in January 2010 seafood sales went down by 23% as compared to December 2009 and in February 2010 sales went further down by 11% on January 2010.

Leader of Okhotsk pollock fishery headquarters Sergey Sklyanin confirms that the bulk of Russian pollock catches has been exported to China. Most of Russian consumers live far away from Pacific grounds, and the problem of high transport tariffs in 2010 has been as urgent as in 2009 and 2008, said Sklyanin.

According to some fishery insiders, it is extremely difficult for the fishermen from the Russian Far East Basin to enter the European market with their herring products as it has already been dominated by Atlantic herring originating from Norway. At the same time, in February 2010 Russia's seafood import from foreign markets jumped by 27.6% in value on January 2010.

Speaking in general, cheap Russian fish is shipped to export markets, while the Russian market is supplied with more expensive imported fish. Actually, the nation's wholesale market has not been reporting a decline of sales from the beginning of the year 2010 and, as for retail sales, they traditionally rise as consumers buy a lot of seafood before the New Year holidays and after that, in January and February, consumers normally have a rest from fish. However, the demand is expected to recover soon.

Head of PR-centre of Russia's Federal Fisheries Agency Alexander Saveliev says that in China the Russian pollock is sold at RUR35.00 per kilo, while in Moscow the product costs ca.RUR50.00 per kilo. The margin seems to be well enough to pay for transportation.

However, the thing is that there is no lack of supply on the Moscow market. In the middle of March 2010 pollock was offered by 180 companies with the total supply exceeding 3300 offers. On the wholesale market pink salmon was available at RUR80.00 per kilo, wachna cod - RUR40.00 per kilo and capelin at RUR13.50 per kilo. In Murmansk capelin was sold at RUR8.00 per kilo.

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