South Korea Becomes Russia’s Top Market In Wake Of China Export Collapse



Ivan Stupachenko | Seafood Source

Russia’s government is exploring ways to create a marketing body to promote the country’s seafood in the wake of a massive drop in the country’s exports to China.

China long served as the primary destination for seafood exports. In 2020, Russia sold more than one million metric tons (MT) of seafood – primarily pollock – to China. That total represented 61 percent of Russia’s total seafood exports by volume. 

However, in late 2020, Russia’s trade relationship with China became strained as China tightened its inspections and controls on imported seafood, after it claimed traces of COVID-19 had been found on the packing of imported seafood products.

The result was dramatic. In the first half of 2021, Russian seafood shipments to China decreased 83 percent by volume compared to 2020, and nearly half in value. Russia’s H1 2021 seafood exports totaled just 160,000 MT, worth USD 442 million (EUR 380 million). Over the first eight months of 2021, Russia’s seafood export volume has plunged 72 percent year-over-year, to 214,000 MT.

Significantly, China is no longer the top export destination for Russian seafood. South Korea has claimed the top spot, as its Russian seafood imports have increased by 48 percent to 459,200 MT thus far in 2021 – although some of that total likely entered China.

To read the full article in the Seafood Source, please click here.