In October 2021, there was a sharp increase in the price of crabs that Russia supplies abroad. The average export price rose to $58 per 1 kilogramme, as stated in the RBC material, based on the data obtained from the Federal Customs Service of the country.
It is stated that crabs traditionally become more expensive in autumn compared to the summer months, but over the past three years, prices have never reached such a high level as this year. In October 2020, 1 kilogramme of crab shipped abroad cost an average of $32, while in October 2019 it was $26. Back in September of this year, the average price was $31.
Frozen crabs have especially risen in price. In October, their average price was $67 per 1 kilogramme, while in October 2020 it was only $36 and in September of this year already $30. According to the results of the ten months of 2021, the share of frozen seafood accounted for about 63 per cent of all crab exports in monetary terms (about $1.2 billion); the rest of the crabs were supplied abroad mainly in live and chilled form.
In January-October 2021, Russian customs recorded shipments of crabs mainly to three countries. First of all, frozen crab went to the Netherlands and South Korea ($677 million and $498 million, respectively), while live and chilled crab ($430 million) went to China. At the same time, the Netherlands and South Korea act primarily as logistics hubs: crabs extracted in the Northern Basin and the Far East are loaded into containers there and sent to other countries without customs clearance.
As specified, the share of crabs at present accounts for about 42 per cent of the total export revenue of the domestic fishing industry, although in 2018 this share was only 25 per cent. In the first half of 2021, 70 per cent of the total production volume was exported: the catch was 46.7 thousand tonnes and the export was 32.1 thousand tonnes. On average, the crab catch per year is about 90 thousand tonnes. The main part is caught in the Far East, fishing is also conducted in the Northern Basin.
According to experts, the export of Russian crab is increasing in monetary terms due to the high demand from the main importing countries, as well as due to the fact that in October the extracted products begin to enter the customs territory in large volumes from the fishing areas for paperwork. In addition, a sharp surge in prices in October may be associated with the start of deliveries of the most valuable species, the Kamchatka crab, also known as the “red king crab”.
Besides, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in the Q1 of 2021, Russia was the largest supplier of crabs to the US with a share of about 45 per cent. In the ten months of 2021, the US imported 26.6 thousand tonnes of crabs from Russia for $877.5 million, which in monetary terms is 34 per cent more than in the same period of 2020.