Estonian fish suppliers have announced they will increase the production of fish meal in response to an oversupply crisis on the domestic fish market provoked by the Russian authorities ban on the import of sprat and anchovy to the country plus a sharp reduction of demand in Ukraine’s market, reported Estonian publication “Capital”.
Valdur Noormyagi, head of the Union of Estonian Fisheries recognises that small producers and firms are facing a difficult situation. “We’re currently searching for new markets, there are even attempts to sell fish to Africa”, he said.
According to him, one of the temporary solutions which the producers are currently using is transferring the selling of raw fish to the production of fish meal for compound feed. The fish meal will be sold domestically and also to other European markets.
“Until now, we haven’t done it before, because of low purchasing prices. If the price of raw fish is €400 per tonne, then the price of the fish meal is €170-180 per tonne” he said, adding that this approach let the producers save at least part of their profits.
Noormyagi added that the search for new markets will not solve the current issues with sales: “We could sell 500 tonnes to Africa; whilst losing 3,000 tonnes in Crimea [Estonia supplied 3,000 tonnes of fish to Crimea in 2013]. In grocery warehouses there are tens of thousands of tonnes of food, which, because of sanctions by the Russian Federation, remain unsold, including 35,300 tonnes of fish products.