China closes ports for fish imports from Russia

23:50, 22 December 2020
China closes ports for fish imports from Russia Photo: Yang Qing/Xinhua/Global Look Press

China has closed all ports to Russian fish products. The measures could be taken as part of the fight against the spread of coronavirus infection.

The Dobroflot Group manager, Alexander Efremov, told reporters that the company received information from a Chinese counterparty about the stop of unloading in the Dalian port. The information about the suspension was confirmed to Kommersant by Deputy Director of Norebo Management Company Sergei Sennikov.

Unloading was previously suspended at Qingdao port. The Chinese authorities do not name the timing of the stoppage of supplies, while China accounts for about 61% of the export of Russian fish products. Last year, its volumes exceeded 1.09 million tons, or $ 3.27 billion. According to Sennikov, the decision may be because the Chinese authorities consider the potential spread of COVID-19 more dangerous than fish factories' losses.

Russian fish supply to China was complicated after coronavirus was detected in frozen fish samples imported from the Russian Federation. According to Ilya Shestakov, the head of the Federal Agency for Fishery, the Chinese authorities have introduced mandatory disinfection for fish products from Russia. But technically, China was not ready to implement these measures, so unloading delays began in November.

According to Alexander Efremov, Dobroflot has already stopped sending ships to China and distributed the products to the domestic market. He says that fishermen's problems will begin in January 2021, when a new season of pollock harvesting starts in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. There are no capacities for processing or storing the remaining volume of products in Russia. The only alternative was South Korea, but their ports are also overloaded.

Latvian fishers are moving to Russia due to the EU policy of fishing in the Baltic Sea, reported earlier.