Russian Fishery to add pollock fillet production to six more vessels

Russian Fishery Company (RFC), the country’s largest pollock quota holder, plans to add fillet processing lines to six more vessels over the summer, meaning it will produce less headed and gutted (H&G) fish in the B season.

According to a press release from the company, RFC’s board has “preliminarily approved” investment in a project to increase its frozen at sea (FAS) pollock fillet production by 60% in 2018.

The company plans to sell the FAS products to the Russian market.RFC plans to produce pin-bone out (PBO) fillets, with a decision to be made on individual quick frozen (IQF) fillet production to be made in the future, a spokesman for the company told Undercurrent News

"As far as I know we are planning to produce PBO. Regarding IQF, the decision can be made later," he said. 

RFC has already added fillet lines to four vessels in its fleet. Most of the modernization work on the six additional vessels will be carried out during the summer of 2018.

“In 2018, the company plans to use 30-40% of our pollock catch for fillet production,” Andrey Teterkin. “We are targeting to increase the share of high value-added products up to 95% within next five-six years, as long as our new build super-trawlers will be commissioned. The company has plans to build up to nine state-of-the-art super-trawlers.”

The increase of pollock FAS fillets production and sales in the Russian market will reduce the volume of supplies to the international markets of the double frozen fillets, produced by Chinese on-shore processing companies from H&G, said RFC.

Prices for H&G and pollock fillets -- both double and single frozen -- have been at very low levels, but are now firming, amid a tight global whitefish market. 

Rasmus Soerensen, executive vice president of sales for American Seafoods Group, one of the largest pollock quota holders in the US, alluded to this on a panel at the Global Seafood Market Conference, held last week in Miami, Florida. 

“What a difference a few months makes in this business,” said Soerensen, as he noted the lower volumes for cod are driving interest in pollock. 

--Quoted from Undercurrent news.