US Ban on Russian Whitefish favours Norwegian suppliers

March 21, 2024

1 mins read



Mintec Analytics data shows that the average price of Norwegian Atlantic cod dropped by NOK 403/MT (-1.09%) month-on-month (m-o-m) in February 2024 to NOK 36,589/MT, influenced by a sharp increase in the landed volume. In contrast, the February price increased by NOK 3,829/MT (+11.69 %) year-on-year (y-o-y), which can be attributed to various factors. These include the imposition of an additional US ban on Russia-origin whitefish and the new EU tariffs on Russian-origin pollock and cod; investigations into forced labour practices in China affecting processing service; escalating operational costs; and the management of fishing quotas in the Barents Sea.  

The US government has closed the loophole in Russian-origin seafood reprocessed in China and then re-exported to the US. As a result, the y-o-y increase in the Norwegian cod price may reflect additional demand from the US markets due to a shortage of Russian seafood entering the US. 

Another factor contributing to the y-o-y price climb of Norwegian Atlantic cod is higher operational costs, possibly linked to increased fuel and energy expenses. Additionally, the 20% reduction in the Barents Sea fishing quota for 2024 may further influence the price trend in Q2 2024.

All these influences have led to global market uncertainty regarding the whitefish supply and prices for 2024. Meanwhile, the Russian government has initiated a campaign to promote the domestic whitefish market and target new export markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, the Russian Alaska Pollock price declined by RUB 6.9/kg (-4.8%) m-o-m in February 2024, averaging RUB 137.4/kg. This suggests that the absence of Chinese demand has not been absorbed by these alternative markets so far.

Topics: Fish & Seafood
Boris Ampuero Oyarzo

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