Ukrainian market witnessing "wild" growth of shellfish/mollusks imports

March 19, 2008 12:33
The Ukrainian market of frozen non-finfish aquatic products is showing a significant growth due to the increasing demand. At the same time fresh fish and non-finfish aquatic products are mainly smuggled into the country, according to Novyi Region.

This issue was highlighted in Kiev during the recent round-table discussion, dedicated to the frozen shellfish/mollusks products quality.

According to the CEO of OOO "Agama-Trade" (one of the frozen non-finfish aquatic products suppliers to Ukraine) Vyachaslav Khorev, quoted by the report, the market volume of such product as frozen shrimp totals 1 000 - 1 200 tonnes per month. The total market volume of shellfish/mollusks, including seafood cocktails, squids and so on, is estimated at 1 500 tonnes per month. It is also worth noting that the frozen products market increases by 25-30% annually. The products are mainly supplied from Denmark, Canada, Bangladesh, China and Thailand.

Such growth rates in Ukraine result partially from the dynamical development of supermarket chains and also from the rise of general seafood consumption culture among Ukrainians.

Kiev, Odessa and West Ukraine have kept the leadership by sales volume.

A lot of non-finfish aquatic products can be supplied to Japanese restaurants, the number of which has significantly grown in Kiev, for example. However, according to the president of Chefs Association in Kiev, major suppliers are not interested in this segment and for small suppliers it is not profitable to deliver fresh product to Ukraine legally.

The number of suppliers to Japanese restaurants is decreasing. Most companies don't deliver exotic fish to Ukraine. Only some of them are reliable. The rest as a rule are smuggling.

Frozen products suppliers will get import permits for the products which are the most popular in Ukraine, including frozen shrimp, squid, seafood cocktails and then import exotic items under these permits.

Just 5 years ago 90% of non-finfish aquatic products were imported without a permit, and only recently the situation has improved a little. But this doesn't relate to the supplies to the Japanese restaurants of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

The share of frozen non-finfish aquatic products in the Japanese fast-food restaurants totals 90-99%.

The restaurants are responsible for the quality of sushi, rolls and other dishes of Japanese cuisine. The internal quality control is eventually run by the chef of the restaurant with this aspect also highly dependent on the correct choice of the supplier.

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