November 11, 2014
Seafood imports of Russia, Ukraine tailspin
Russia's and Ukraine's seafood imports in terms of volume spiralled down by 19.2% and 58%, respectively, during the first nine months compared with the same period last year, data showed. During this period, on August 7, Russia banned agricultural and food product imports--including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, milk and dairy products--from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway to retaliate the trade sanctions those countries earlier imposed over Moscow's alleged backing of separatist rebels in Ukraine.
Earlier during the first eight months, Russia's imports of fish and seafood products also went down, by 125,000 metric tonnes, to 525,000 metric tons from 650,000 last year.
Even before August, imports of seafood from January to July already decreased by 16.5% year on year. The only months that the imports registered an increase were March and July.
In the case of Ukraine, the drastic decrease in seafood imports was attributed to the economic crisis that resulted from the violent dispute between Ukraine and separatist rebels backed by Russia over the Crimean archipelago located south of the Ukrainian mainland. Importers said they lost their credit insurance, which became a major hindrance to trade.
According to Customs Inform, an Estonia-based analytical research agency, Ukraine's seafood imports during the first nine months totalled only 212,000 tonnes, or 58% less than the 500,000 tonnes registered last year.
When the Crimean crisis erupted in February, imports that month were just half those in February last year, and the following month the total volume of imports further dropped to only a quarter of the total in March 2013.