Russia’s Largest Caviar Exporter Targets China

PHOTO by daffodil / Depositphotos

The Russian Caviar House Group plans to start shipping caviar to China in June, according to a statement issued by the group's deputy General Director, Saodat Sultanova at SIAL China in Shanghai. At the world food exhibition, a spokeswoman noted that the process of expansion to China has already begun: “We’ve applied for approvals and licenses. I believe that by the end of this month or beginning of the next, caviar will be available in Beijing.”

Sultanova added that, in terms of volume, the Chinese market may be quite unpredictable: “I think that this year will help us forecast the next one. It’s very difficult to estimate any figures.” She did, however, provide a ballpark figure: an annual total of 100-150 kilograms in regular shipments would be considered a success. At the same time, given that luxury groceries are gaining market share in Southeast Asia, the spokeswoman suggested that Russian caviar could find its niche there.

A representative of the Russian Caviar House in China, Dmitry Kirilenko, said that the company would sell its products at the same or slightly higher prices than those of local producers. He noted that 30 grammes of caviar cost around 1200 Yuans ($185) in China.

The Russian Caviar House Group produces sturgeon caviar and roe (also referred to as red caviar), along with salted and smoked fish. Sultanova estimates the company to hold 73% of the Russian caviar market with a production volume of 23-24 tonnes per year, of which 2.5% to 3% is exported. The Russian Caviar House currently has an official presence in Hong-Kong, Singapore, the UAE, the USA, and Kazakhstan, while its distributors operate in Japan, the Maldives and Laos. Thailand, Iran and a number of African nations have expressed interest in the company’s products, but the group does not currently export to Europe.