Seafood consumption displaying further rise in Russia

October 11, 2006 16:40

In the year 2006 capacity of the Russian seafood market has grown by 3% so far. Consumption of shellfish/mollusks/seaweed, fish fillets, smoked and dry-cured fish has been growing ahead of forecasts, the market researchers from the Russian Institute of Agrarian Marketing concluded at the end of the first stage of their study of the nation’s seafood market.

The structure of retail seafood consumption is dominated by frozen fish, the share of which amounts to 35% of the total seafood consumption. In the current year 2006 non-finfish species and salted herring have been the most popular aquatic products with the shares correspondingly amounting to 16% and 15%. Fish fillets have been the category enjoying the least demand among the most popular products – their share in the nation’s seafood consumption amounts to 11%. The lowest volumes of consumption have been recorded for balyk products (smoked backs, etc.), dried and dry-cured fish and caviar.

The structure of consumption and preferences has been in direct dependence on households’ income. Frozen fish is more popular among all the categories of Russian population. People with income of less than RUR10,000 per month prefer to buy frozen fish of the middle end of the market such as cod and Alaska pollock. As income rises the range of consumed seafood grows wider just like consumption of products belonging to the upper end of the market.

Typical places of seafood purchases for the major part of Moscow population are concentrated in the small wholesale markets popular among people both with low and high income.

Comparison of statistic information on volumes of production and foreign trade to the data of the polls has enabled the market analysts to conclude that the officially recognized supply in several market segments is below their actual capacity. Such segments first of all include the most popular items as salted herring, non-finfish products and fish fillets. Those segments show a high level of dependence on import supplies.

At the further stage of the market study the institute’s market researchers will thoroughly scrutinize particular segments of the Russian market.

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