14 Jun 2024 13:22

Russia doubles crab and fish shipments to UAE over past five years - analysts

MOSCOW. June 14 (Interfax) - Russia has almost doubled its shipments of fish and seafood to the UAE over the past five years from $3.4 million in 2019 to $6.5 million in 2023, the Analytical Center of the Fisheries Union told Interfax.

Frozen Kamchatka crab accounts for almost 70% of Russian exports in value terms, whereas canned crab is 24%, smoked fish 4% and caviar 3%.

Russia also doubled its share among countries exporting fish and seafood products to the UAE market during this period from 0.4% in 2019 to 0.8% in 2023.

Overall, the UAE imported almost $780 million worth of fish and seafood from all countries in 2023, an 11% decrease versus 2022.

"The country has returned to the indicators it had in 2019-2021. The decrease in shipments last year is mainly due to a decrease in prices for several aquatic biological resources, primarily shrimp. In addition, restaurateurs and retailers in the Emirates imported fish and seafood with a reserve in 2022, counting on a sharp increase in tourist flow," the Fisheries Union said.

The UAE's main imports are crustaceans. Crab and shrimp account for 36%, chilled fish is 20%, canned fish 17%, frozen fish 11%, and fish fillets 7%.

As the analytical center explained, the UAE is one of the most promising markets for Russian fish products. The growing prosperity of the population has created favorable opportunities for Russian exporters, and the increase in tourist flows after the end of the pandemic has given additional impetus for supplying premium products, namely crabs, caviar and fish delicacies.

"Moreover, the UAE market is highly competitive; it's a place where Russian suppliers have to deal primarily with the Norwegians, who have been successfully promoting their products around the world for a long time," the analysts said.