July 14, 2022 www.seafoodnews.com

Leading Russian crab producers are considering re-directing their supplies to the market of China and other Asia-Pacific states in years to come after the decision of the U.S. and the EU authorities to impose a ban on the crab imports from Russia.  

In case of the U.S., prior to the ban, Russia accounted for about 25% of all crab imports to the country. The closure of the US market means that Russian crab producers will have to find alternative sale markets for their products.   

One of the major players in this market is the Russian Crab enterprise. Alexandr Sapozhnikov, head of the company, said in an interview with the Russian TASS newswire that supplies of crab to the markets of the U.S. and the EU brought up to 40% of revenue to the company last year. The closure of these markets for further supplies had a negative impact on the company and its business. In this regard, hopes of the company are put on the increase of its crab exports to China.  

According to him, if in the past most crab supplies to China accounted for live crab due to the culture of consumption among Chinese customers, then in recent months the demand has increased for boiled-frozen and raw-frozen crab. That allowed the company to sign the first contracts on the supplies of its frozen crab to China.   

In the case of live crab, according to Sapozhnikov, the current imports to China are estimated at 15,000 tonnes, however these figures are steadily growing.   

He also expects the demand for crab in China will continue to grow in years to come, which is also due to increase of the number of people, who regularly consume crab in China by almost 30% in the last 5-6 years. In addition, the growth of local consumption is also due to the almost complete suspension of travelling by Chinese due to the pandemic in recent years.