YEREVAN, March 6. /ARKA/. Wholesale prices per one kilogram of fish are expected to jump 100 drams ahead of Easter and add another 300 drams immediately after the holidays, Arthur Atoyan, head of the Armenian Fish-Breeders Association, told journalists today.
He said one kilogram of fish is sold at 1,450 drams now.
“Fish shortage will grow after the holidays, since some 57 companies stopped operating in recent months, and many fish-breeding farms reduced their output” he said. “And this will drive prices up.”
Atoyan said that these changes are due to the restrictions imposed by Rosselkhoznadzor, Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, on September 27, 2012 on four Armenian fish-breeding companies’ exports to Russia, since it found colon bacterium in the fish imported from Armenia and Iceland.
He stressed that it became not beneficial for Armenian fish-breeding companies to produce fish in large quantities after they were left without big orders from Russia.
“After that supply in Armenia grew, and as a result, market prices for fish were equal to its cost price, and per-kg profits ranged between 80 and 120 drams,” Atoyan said adding that now fish-breeding farms now prefer to produce fish in small quantities to cater for local market alone.
He said 215 fish breeding companies operate in Armenia now instead of 180 in 2011.
Armenia exported 1,530 tons of fish in 2012, 800 tons in 2011 and 600 in 2010.
Russia’s surveillance agency has found colon bacteria in the fish exported by four companies – Aquatekhautomatica, Unifish, Dimitri and Gos.
Armenian Fish-Breeders Association says fish exports, as a rule, are carefully examined by Armenia’s food safety agency, but no colon bacteria had been found.
Armenia’s fish sent to Russia makes up about 80% or 90% of its fish exports. Armenia exports its fish also to Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and other countries. -0-