The state of the fish market. Analytics and prospects of Ukraine

Tuesday, 28 November 2017, 17:24

The ratio of imported and domestic fish

Imported fish products account for about 80% of all fish products in Ukraine (for the year 2016, 300,000 tons were imported). Own fish in Ukraine about 20% (80 000 tons for 2016 year).

At the same time, it should be taken into account that, unfortunately, our state can not accurately say how many fish are actually grown and harvested in Ukraine. Market participants, like representatives of the State Fishery Agency, note that the official figures do not reflect the real picture and they can be multiplied by 2-2.5 times (ie up to 200,000 tons), since a significant part remains in the shadows. Accordingly, theoretically, the ratio of imported and domestic products can be 60/40. But then another question arises: how many Ukrainian fish get to our counters?

At the same time, if we only talk about sea fish, then the ratio of imported and domestic fish products will be even more not in favor of the latter.

According to the State Fish Agency, fishing in Ukraine's water bodies in January-September 2017 amounted to 35,200 tons, including:

  • catch in the Sea of Azov - 13 900 tons.
  • catch in the Black Sea - 3,900 tons.
  • catch in the inland waters of the country - 17 400 tons.

Also, Ukraine is catching in the ocean, which for this period amounted to 7,900 tons. Accordingly, the volume of marine products as such was 25,700 tons.

At the same time, imports for the same period amounted to 210,000 tons (98% of which are marine products).

Accordingly, 88% of marine fish products are imported and only 12% are domestic fish.

Structure of imports and consumer preferences

By results of 10 months of 2017 importers imported 240 500 tons of fish and seafood. At that, 215 000 tons or 89% of imported fish products were frozen products. The share of chilled products - 3.5%, salted products - 2.5%, canned foods - 1.4%, surimi - 1.4%, snacks - 1.1%, preserves - 0.3%.

What exactly imports Ukraine and what consumer preferences of Ukrainians?
Here is the TOP-5 of imported products (% of total imports):

  1. Herring - 38 400 tons (16%).
  2. Mackerel - 31 400 tons (13%).
  3. Heck - 29 000 tons (12.3%)
  4. Salak - 27 500 tons (11.4%).
  5. Salmon - 19,500 tons * (8%).

* includes "salmon chilled", "salmon ridges", "salmon trimmed", "salmon belly", "salmon chunks", "trout chilled" "trout ridges".

Next come: sprat (4.2%), pollock (3.8%), capelin (3.5%), notothenia (2.7%) and others.

Most of all fish products Ukraine imported from Norway (47,400 tons), Iceland (37,700 tons), Estonia (23,600 tons), the United States (23,150 tons), Spain (13,000 tons), Latvia (11,800 tons), Canada (10,000 tons) and China (7,900 tons).

If we start from official data on imports, domestic production and official data on the number of people in the country, we will get an average consumption of about 9 kg per person per year. At the same time, most fish consumed in the following 5 areas:

  • Kievskaya (13.1 kg)
  • Odessa (13.0 kg)
  • Cherkassy (12.3 kg)
  • Vinnytsia (11.8 kg)
  • Kherson (10.9 kg)

Outsiders of fish consumption are the following regions of Ukraine:

  • Ivano-Frankivsk (6.3 kg)
  • Ternopil (6.4 kg)
  • Transcarpathian (6.8 kg)
  • Chernivtsi region (7.5 kg)
  • Lviv (7,5 kg)

In general, the volume of imports in 2017 almost coincide with the volume of imports in 2016. The statistics do not yet include data for November and December 2017, but they are unlikely to be significantly higher than 30-35 thousand tons for each of these months, so imports for 2017 should not significantly exceed the figures for 2016 (300,000 tons), although 3-5% of import growth remains.

On the one hand, such relative stability and lack of growth may indicate that we will not return to the indicators of 2013, when fish products were imported to 450,000 tons. But on the other hand, we must consider the following.

  • For 2014-2015, Ukraine lost control of a significant part of its territories, and hence also points of sale and potential consumers.
  • According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine for the first half of 2017, the population of Ukraine decreased by 128,000 people. Mortality still exceeds birth rates: 61 newborns per 100 deaths. Accordingly, every year the population of the country for natural reasons is reduced by more than 200 000 people.
  • Labor migration.According to various data about 5 million Ukrainians work abroad today. In Poland alone, about 1 million have been officially employed. At the same time, the quota for official employment increases every year in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and other countries. At the same time, many citizens use the possibility of temporary employment, including due to "visa-free travel", are absent for months in the country and, in fact, are not consumers of goods in Ukraine. As a result, already now many managers of companies face a shortage of personnel at their enterprises.

Thus, official data according to which 42 million people live in Ukraine, obviously, may not correspond to reality. In addition, as noted by many experts, in the medium term these trends will continue and the population will continue to decline, and the nation will grow old. Therefore, it must be taken into account when analyzing the market and its prospects.

In this regard, the preservation of import volumes and consumption volumes in a fairly difficult socio-economic time for the country, in the absence of any support from the state, is certainly a positive moment and merit of all participants in the fishing industry.

Export opportunities. Poland example

Despite the fact that Ukraine remains dependent on the import of fish products, it should not be taken as a minus. And that's why.

The experience of neighboring countries shows that even without the availability of their own sufficient bio-resources, the fish industry can successfully develop, bring significant dividends to the country's budget and employ citizens.

For example, we will analyze the fishing industry in neighboring Poland.

The population of the country is 38 million people. According to data for 2014, fish consumption is 13 kg per person per year (the average in the EU is 21 kg per person per year).

At the same time, the Polish fish processing industry is one of the largest in Europe. In the fish processing in Poland there are 250 enterprises, which employ 12 500 people.

In 2014, 456,000 tons of fish products were processed in Poland (369,000 tons were processed in 2010) for a total value of USD 2.3 billion, while the revenue was 500 million euros.
What is most interesting, 90% of all processed products are exported, of which 59% goes to the German market, the rest to the markets of Great Britain, France and Denmark.

And all this is possible only through imports. Only Norway in 2016 exported fish to Poland for 1,169 million US dollars (to Ukraine for 110 million US dollars).

It should be noted that there are several VAT rates in Poland. There is a basic VAT rate of 23%, and there are also reduced VAT rates: 8, 5 and 0%. The VAT rate for fish in Poland is 5% (as with most other food products). Of course, this plays an important role in stimulating the processing of fish products in Poland.

Summarizing, we can say that in the long term Ukraine has a chance to become a serious player in Europe in the fish processing market. Every year, the demand for fish products is growing. Already, the average consumption of fish in the world has exceeded 20 kg per person per year. And these figures were achieved due to aquaculture since traditional fishing has not been growing for the last 20 years. For example, over the past year, 1.3 million tons of salmon were grown in Norway, while a few tens of years ago this figure was 50,000 tons. According to the Minister of Fisheries of Norway, Per Sandberg, by 2050 Norway plans to increase this figure to 5 million tons. And then the question arises, why should Ukraine not take this opportunity and not become at least a second fish processor in Europe?

(c) Dmytro Zagumennyy




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