By 2017, almost half of the fish sticks that were served in American school canteens were made from Russian fish processed in China. Due to the cheapness of pollock from Russia took a share of $ 200 million in the US domestic market
The administration of US President Donald Trump inadvertently provided a price advantage for the Russian pollock, which is sold in America in the form of fish sticks and imitation of crab meat. This is reported by CNN.
Russian pollock is cheaper than fishermen in Alaska catching, which helped him to get a share of $ 200 million in the American domestic market. By 2017, almost half of the fish sticks fed in schools in the United States were made from Russian pollock recycled in China, reports TV channel referring to the data of 14 American fish companies Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers.
American fishermen and fish producers hoped that Trump’s policy on imposing sales duties would help “erase the price advantage of Russian fish,” but the presidential administration instead aggravated their situation, CNN said. The reason was the US trade war with China. The US Trade Representation has excluded the Russian pollock from the list of goods for increasing import duties, while maintaining its price advantage, but Beijing’s response rates of 25% limited US fishermen’s access to the Chinese market.
Sales of American pollock in China almost doubled in 2016–2017, Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers spokesperson Pat Shanahan told CNN. “China’s response has virtually closed the Chinese market for pollock [from the US],” he said.
Earlier in the States, pollock from Russia was sold under the Alaska brand because of the “confusing nomenclature and secret coding system,” notes CNN, this was only changed after Congress in 2015 settled the law. At the same time, in the tariff code used by the US trade mission, the fish are still identified as Alaska Pollock, regardless of its origin.
Russia is the world’s largest supplier of pollock, reminds Ilya Bereznyuk, managing partner of Agro & Food Communications. This species of fish is the main target of fishing in the Far East: according to the Pollock Mining Association association, in 2019 the authorized catch volume in this region is 1.8 million tonnes. This is 0.3%, or 5.2 thousand tons more than was set for 2018. The “sensation” is that the United States purchases Russian pollock Bereznyuk does not see: in his opinion, this is due not so much to politics as to the fact that it is cheaper than similar products from the same Alaska. The price advantages of the Russian pollock are primarily used by American companies that buy pollock directly from Russian fishermen, or through Chinese intermediary companies, emphasizes Bereznyuk. The main part mined in Russia, and in the USA pollock is traditionally processed into fillets or fish sticks in China, he points out. American companies are trying to find an alternative to Chinese processing in other countries – for example, in Vietnam, but this can not be done quickly, adds Bereznyuk.