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Finnish Aquaculture Products and Technology to Russia

Investments in commercial aquaculture in Russia create opportunities for Finnish businesses.

Russia is developing its aquaculture sector not only to replace the lost fish imports caused by the food embargo (August 2014), but also to increase the share of the domestic fish production from 155 300 tons (2013) up to 315 000 tons by 2020 when the share of the domestic fish products is expected to be 80%.

To support the development of the industry, the Russian ministry of agriculture approved a federal program in January 2015 for commercial aquaculture. The program covers the years 2015 -2020. Financing for the program has been allocated from the federal budget as follows; EUR 52, 6 million in 2015, 56, EUR 1 million in 2016 and EUR 57, 9 million in 2017. Also some of the sectors import duties have been temporarily cancelled e.g. fertilized fish eggs with zero rate for three years (until April 2018). Lowering fish breeding equipment duty, now 15%, is under consideration.

Russia's aquaculture industry has shown strong signs of growth

Following examples showcase extensive growth targets: in Karelia, the regional industry development plan for 2018-2020 has set a goal for 20 new fish farms for the production of salmon and trout, with annual production of 30 000 tonnes for trout and 70 000 tonnes for salmon. Another example is Russian Aquaculture, one of Russia's largest seafood producers, that plans to invest EUR 184,2 million in fish farming by 2020 enabling a production four times bigger than today.

The Federal Fisheries Agency (FFA) reports that starting from 2016, 146 investment projects for a total investment of 66.6 billion rubles are under implementation in aquaculture. According to the FFA, there are 3,500 fish farms managing 3,800 fishing sites with a total area of 400,000 hectares in Russia. Typically, these are small farms with an annual production capacity of 500 MT of fish. In an effort to stimulate further development of the sector, FFA allocated in 2016 an additional 700 water sites for industrial fish farms with a total area of 39,500 hectares. Expansion of the area for fish breeding will result in an increased demand for brooding stock and feeds.

Investment and development needs throughout the whole value chain

The starting point for the industry's development is interesting from the Finnish aquaculture companies' perspective. The Russian fish farming facilities and equipment are outdated and there is lack of qualified staff. There are investment and development needs throughout the whole value chain: aquaculture companies in fish farming and processing, suppliers, wholesale and retail.

Finnish aquaculture companies have vast expertise and environment oriented fish research, high quality raw materials and new technology. Finnish industry can supply fish feeds, seeds and fertilized eggs, pond management and fish husbandry and fish farming equipment. New energy efficient and clean technologies e.g. recirculating aquaculture systems, solutions for polluted and wastewater treatment and techniques to restore endangered fish species can be offered to the Russian market. Also aquaculture specialist education is available.

The geography offers Finnish companies logistics advantages to export Russia. Several Finnish aquaculture companies already enjoy a solid reputation at the market, with a production capacity of 1 million hectares fish breeding water offering potential for 1,5 million tons per year.

Since neither aquaculture feed nor brooding stock materials are under the Russian Government counter-sanctions embargo imposed in August 2014, Finnish producers of brooding stock and aquaculture feed could potentially supply product to the Russian market.

Seize the opportunity – join aquaculture event in Russia in February 2018

The Registered Association Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce (FRCC) assists Finnish companies to grasp business opportunities in Russia. In May 2017, FRCC arranged a trip for Finnish aquaculture companies to Velikyi Novgorod region. During the two trip days, the participants had the opportunity to visit several developing fish farms and to meet the Russian farmers.

FRCC will organize a new event in Velikyi Novgorod (200 km from St.Petersburg, the region with the developing aquaculture) in the end of February 2018. Fish farmers from the Leningrad, Velikyi Novgorod and Pskov regions will be invited to the event. The Finnish companies will have the opportunity to visit local fishing farms. Mark the event already now to your calendar, the date of the event will be confirmed during November 2017.

For further information, please contact Irina Krasnova (RU, FI, ENG)

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