According to assurances of officials and major market players the fishing industry in Russia develops quite rapidly.
Egor Dvinyakin, marketing analyst of Intesco Research Group, has his own point of view about the contemporary situation in this market sector.
- Egor, What is the current situation in fishing industry?
- Generally, the development of market of fish and fishery products is stable. Increase is observed both in consumption and production of fish. The important role in development of the market plays the active government policy. The consumption of fish is being promoted, the legislation and the institutes responsible for branch are improving, and participants of the market are being supported by the government. Russian government spent one billion rubles to purchase fish in the peak period in 2011. This will support fishermen and will prevent downward movement purchasing price.
Nevertheless, consumption of fish is growing up from year to year, but in comparison with European and American levels Russian level is still low. It is early to compare our country with Japan. In 2010,19 kg of fish was accounted to one Russian citizen, , while the average for the EU and USA are 21 kg and 26 kg per person per year. However forecasts are in general optimistic: it is expected that the consumption of fish in Russia will soon reach the level of developed maritime countries.
- Why do you think the Russians still consume less fish than people in other countries?
- According to our researches the consumer considers that the main problem of the market of fish is unprofitable price-quality relationship. The really good fish is expensive and inaccessible to the majority, and the cheap fish is tasteless. The important role in solving this problem could play the restrictions to apply the icy glaze on the frozen fish: the quantity of icy glaze shouldn't exceed 5 per cent. Entirely participants of the market also understand that the demand for the fish of high quality which is rather accessible has been already formed; therefore this segment will be soon filled up.
- What is the ratio of imported and domestic fish products on the Russian market?
- The quantity of imported fish and fishing products is quite large. Russia has the possibility to provide itself with almost all principal kinds of fish and even to export products abroad. By a rough estimate the import of fish is about one fifth now.
From the other side, the majority of imported fish (around 70%) is Russian fish processed abroad, first of all, in China. This fact indicates that the development of fish processing in Russia is not very profitable and attractive business. That signifies that there are not enough foreign investors in the industry. In the first quarter of 2011 there were 301.1 milliards dollars of accumulated investments, including 81 million dollars of fishing industry, or 0.03 %. And this happens in spite of fact that we are maritime state, and more than the half of all our boards (61 thousand miles) are maritime (39 thousand miles).
- What are the main problems of the Russian market of fish production?
- The great problem of the market is its non-transparency. Gray market imports, unregistered produces, ill-considered technical regulations, strange dealer’s chains, inflated prices… All these factors hamper the development of fish processing industry. However, in spite of all, there is a great progress in the fishing industry.
Author: Elena Maximova Source: SFERA food magazine