Russian squid market hit by acute shortage

November 30, 2010 10:40
The Russian squid market has kept facing acute shortage with the prospects looking fairly gloomy, reports (

The market participants report absence of squid supplies from all the fishing sources. More specifically, the nation's harvest of squid in the recent years has been very low at about 30,000 tonnes. According to a representative of a large fishing company, main squid harvesters have been leaving the fishing grounds in the North Kuriles (main fishing area for the species). More specifically, Vladivostok-based NBAMR has suspended its operations, while Okeanrybflot has continued working, but experts say it will also send its BATM large trawlers away from the grounds due to their zero efficiency. In the West Bering Sea zone and in the Karaginsk subarea squid has been harvested as bycatch, though extremely low, and the dedicated squid fishery in the areas will hardly be ever conducted as the fishermen will rather harvest pollock.

Besides, on the grounds of the Southwest Atlantic the fishery situation has been gloomy again. For instance, in Argentina in the first ten months of the year the fleets harvested only 75,000 tonnes of illex squid as compared to the ordinary 200,000 tonnes in the previous years. Catches have been poor for the second year running and coldstore inventories in the previous years rich in catches have been exhausted.

In Taiwan the squid harvest has been continuously falling. In 2010 it amounted to less than 30,000 tonnes, twice down on 2009 and several times down on 200,000 tonnes in the previous years.

Shipments from Peru have considerably decreased this year just like those from South Africa.

However, according to a representative of one company based in the Russian Far East, the Russian producers hope that prices will not fly up too high because big rises normally lead to goods stagnation at coldstores and in retail network and poor sales in the coming season. However, the situation has already fallen out of producers' control as catches have been sold off.

At the same time, squid prices have been rising. Cleaned squid tubes processed in China have grown much more expensive. Supply of giant squid fillets has been limited while squid Todarodes pacificus has begun appreciating.

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