Russia, Now Chile’s Largest Mussel Market

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Currently, Russia’s rapidly growing demand for mussels has been a huge source of income for Chilean suppliers. Despite rough procedures, a representative from the industry said that completing the products can still be continued.

According to Jose Miguel Barros, head of the Patagonia Mussels trade association, approximately between 15-18% of roughly 85,000 metric tons of packaged mussels exported by Chile, were imported to Russia last year, 2018.

This data shows a significant increase in market sales following an advertising campaign made by the association in that area in 2011. This has almost thricely incremented from 2015, which happened to be the year that Russia’s import capacity was crippled due to its relative devaluation from other currencies, Barros mentioned in the recent Brussels seafood show that he was in.

He added that back in the days, China supplied 80% of Russia’s demand for mussels, but, now, it has switched. Today, Chile has been the hugest source of imported mussels.

Furthermore, he said that the demand for mussels in Russia, the largest country in the entire world, is inclusive of half-shell and whole mussels, including mussel meat. Within the bounds of Russia, on the other hand, St. Petersburg and Moscow mostly run resorts and merchandising, thereby increasing the demand for specialty food.

He additionally said that the consumption of mussels is season-based since people tend to eat more seafood during summer.

However, Barros hopes for Chilean suppliers to expand the distribution of varying product forms beyond Russia, most particularly in the U.S. and generally boost their demand at the same time.

He supports the statement by saying that there is a tremendous potential because 90% of mussels that Chileans supply to Russia is all “whole-shell vac-pac.”

The Patagonia Mussels Association is currently using a two-way approach which gives priority on taking care of the entire mussels’ survivability and the good impact of farming on the lives of Chilean people residing in the coastal areas.

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