EP 572 | AIRED 01/17/2022
Russian Pollock Outlook for 2022, Commentary from Pollock Catchers Association
Jan 17th, 2022 --- This week we provide a Russian Pollock update on the back of last week’s breaking news that both Dalian & Qingdao reopened their ports to Russian tramper vessels however, in catching up President of Pollock Catchers Association (Alexey Buglak), Russian Pollock Processors may have already set sail on a new course.
Total Russian Pollock harvest for 2021 amounted to 1.72 million metric tonnes - down 3 percent from the previous year.
For 2022, the Total Allowable Catch for Russian Pollock is set at 1.927 million metric tonnes - also down 3 percent from the previous year’s TAC of 1.97 million metric tonnes.
For comparison, the 2022 Alaskan Pollock TAC is set at 1.56 million metric tonnes - also down 3 percent from the previous year.
For this episode, we catch up with Alexey Buglak, President of the Pollock Catchers Association for his take on last year’s and the upcoming Pollock season.
"At the end of the year, the fishermen managed to catch up with the production lag that was 10-15 percent during the year. At the same time, as we predicted, the volume of output of deep processing products at sea - fillets, mince and surimi - increased significantly. According to our estimates, the production of such products has grown to 120 thousand tons. Another 20 thousand tons of fillets and surimi were produced at the coastal enterprises of the Far East, built as part of the investment quotas program.
China's lockdown has had a serious impact on the industry. Companies were forced to change their production plans, and applied new fishing and export strategies. Over the past year, the logistics and distribution channels built over the years of work had to be quickly rebuilt due to the restrictions imposed by China. The costs incurred by the business in this regard were not offset by the price of pollock. Throughout 2021, the price of frozen pollock was at a fairly low level.
According to our calculations, the losses of the Russian pollock sector from the pandemic due to the forced restructuring of logistics, lower prices, loss of revenue due to the forced reduction in production in the first six months of this year alone amounted to 260 million dollars. It is obvious that the financial result of the industry at the end of 2021 will be significantly worse than in 2020. And unfortunately, so far all the circumstances indicate that 2022 will be even more difficult in terms of logistics. Despite recent news about opening Dalian for Russian refer vessels, I believe that high level of uncertainty will continue in 2022. Therefore, the best strategy for the Russian industry should be the development of its own pollock processing.
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On Jan 1 2022, the fishing season in the Sea of Okhotsk, the key Russian pollock fishery, has started. Pollock TAC in the three subzones of the Sea of Okhotsk is set at 956 thousand tons, which is 10 percent less than in 2021. About 75-80 percent of this volume can be harvested in the first 100 days of the fishery. More than 120 fishing vessels will take part in the expedition, which daily harvest 10-11 thousand tons of pollock during the peak periods. Scientists predict favourable fishing conditions. The catches will be dominated by large pollock size groups. According to our estimates, the production of pollock fillets and minced meat will continue to grow both in the sea and onshore. This will also be facilitated by the re-equipment of the fishing fleet, as well as the launch of new built vessels. Onshore factories will operate at full capacity.
Our recommendation continues to be that buyers should be buying and booking products for between now and March as Lent is just around the corner.
Be sure to check out TradexLIVE Seafood Offers portal for product availability FOB all major hubs in North America.
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