Huge early-season catches lead to falling prices for Russia’s pink salmon

Pink salmon fishermen in Russia's Far East.

Prices in Russia for pink salmon have dropped 15 percent as a predicted record-setting catch has increased supply far above domestic demand.

A preliminary forecast of 375,000 metric tons (MT) of pink salmon made in February 2023 is likely to be surpassed, with 285,000 MT already caught, according to the Russian Association of Production and Trade Enterprises of the Fish Market. That’s nearly as much as the 2022 season, though Russia’s pink salmon run in larger numbers in alternating years.

“[It should be] 500,000 tons. If nature makes us happy, then perhaps it will be even better,” the association’s executive director, Alexander Fomin, told Osnova News on 2 August.

Fomin said the total should produce around 20,000 MT of salmon caviar, which will surpass domestic demand.

“There will definitely not be a shortage of caviar,” he said. “But we need to monitor the volume of exports. If exports to China increase, most of the fish may go there and to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and less will be offered to the domestic market than for export.”

Current wholesale prices for salmon caviar are RUB 3,500 to RUB 4,000 (USD 37.04 to USD 42.33, EUR 33.84 to EUR 36.67) per kilogram.

“This is much below the market, but if they will start to buy it, I think by the end of August, [prices will rise,” Fomin said.

Russia’s national catch of pink salmon in July was its …

Photo courtesy of Konstantin Baidin/Shutterstock

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