Russia's focus on value-added production continues to pay dividends, as the value of exports climbed sharply through October, according to Russia’s federal statistics service.
The value of Russia’s seafood exports surged 24 percent through the first 10 months of the year, mainly due to the growth in higher-value product sales, reaching RUB 5.4 billion (€64.6 million/$73.2 million).
The jump came despite a decline in the volume of exports. Overall, Russian seafood companies shipped 13 percent less seafood compared to the same period last year.
Russia's pollock exports fell 17 percent through October, but continued to account for the overwhelming volume of exports. Export volume reached 468,000 metric tons during the period. The majority of that volume, 70 percent, was shipped into Korean ports.
Fish fillet exports grew 35 percent to 134,200 metric tons.
The volume of salmon exports fell 25 percent to 45,400 metric tons. Korea also imported the largest volume of salmon, with around 44 percent of the total imports.
Through October, Korea imported 749,670 metric tons of seafood from Russia, up 72 percent year-on-year. It is now the largest importer of Russian seafood.
China was second at 304,030 metric tons, down 68 percent from last year’s level.
It's unclear to what extent the rise in Korean imports is the result of increased consumption in the country or is attributable to shifts away from Chinese ports, which implemented restrictions on Russian seafood imports throughout the course of the year.
The Netherlands, the primary port for shipping frozen pollock into the European Union, accounted for the third-highest amount of imports from Russia at 94,510 metric tons, followed by Japan, which increased its seafood imports from Russia by 84 percent to 54,360 metric tons.