Russian Railways defending fish transportation charges

April 21, 2009 16:36

In the period from 1 January 2009 to 31 March 2009 the Far Eastern division of Russian Railways handled 98,700 tonnes of fish products, 15% or 17,400 tonnes down on the same period last year. In this situation the Russian Railways argue that the decline has nothing to do with such costs as shipping by railway, but has resulted from other cost factors, reports ( with reference to Zolotoi Rog.

Monitoring of seafood turnover of the Far Eastern Railways proves that the seafood turnover has decreased from 505,000 tonnes in 2006 to ca.469,000 tonnes in 2007 and at last to 423,300 tonnes in 2008. In 2009 the State Expertise has increased the TACs in the Russian Far East to 3.143 million metric tons, and, according to the nation's Federal Fisheries Agency, in the opening months of 2009 the total shipments of fish cleared at Russian ports (mandatory procedure now) grew by 20% on the same period last year.

However, despite increased catches of marine bioresources, shipments to the domestic market have been declining.

The fishermen have been pressing for a decrease of railway tariffs which they think will encourage a decline of retail prices and increase of share of Pacific fish on the Russian market. However, the decrease of tariffs for seafood shipments practiced in 2007 did not produce expected results with the price dynamics remaining positive and the volume of shipments of marine bioresources declining.

The Far Eastern Centre of VIP Transport Services has conducted marketing research based on particular example of retail price formation. According to the study, in Moscow region pollock fetches RUB98.00 per kilo, of which cost price makes RUB30.00 or ca.31% of the retail price, marine transport components makes RUB5.00-6.00 per kilo or 6%, stevedore services of marine ports cost RUB0.80-2.00 per kilo (2%), railway transport tariff makes RUB4.00 per kilo (4%) and retail mark-ups amount to RUB57.00 per kilo or 58% of the retail price.

Thus, the railway transport component of 4% from the retail price is in fact encouraging shipments of Pacific seafood to western regions of Russia, the marketing report concluded.

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