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Composition of Romanian seafood sector
In 2015, Romanian fish catching companies generated EUR 4 million in landings income (Table 70). Fish processing companies generated a further EUR 105 million in production revenues.
Romania had a EUR 205 trade deficit in fish products in 2016. It imported EUR 236 million in fish and fish products. 84% of these imports came from other EU countries. Romania’s main import partners were the Netherlands (11%), Poland (11%) and Italy (10%).
The country exported EUR 32 million in fish and fish products in 2016. France accounted for more than half of all fresh fish exports. Bulgaria (11%) and the Republic of Moldova (8%) were the second and third most important export destinations.
In 2015, 151 commercial fishing vessels were registered in Romania. These were owned by 80 fishing companies. 20 fishing companies – or a quarter of all fishing enterprises – operated more than one vessel.
The fish catching segment in Romania employed 44 FTE. The fish processing segment had a larger workforce of 1,279 FTE.
In Romania, just over 40% of the fish and fish products that enter the market are sold as fresh and just under 30% are sold as frozen. Canned and dried/smoked/salted fish products account for approximately 15% each of the fish product categories in the market. Just under 90% of all fish products sold in Romania are sold through retailers, the remainder is sold through the food service industry. Approximately 85% of fresh fish is sold through retailers (see Figure 104), while approximately 90% of the other fish product categories are sold through retail outlets.
The majority of fresh fish sold in Romania (80%) is sold as unbranded products (see Table 71), while 20% is sold branded. More than 80% of canned and frozen fish products sold in Romania are sold as branded products. More than half of the dried/smoked/salted fish products are branded, and approximately 40% is unbranded.
Piscicola Calarasi is the leading player in the fresh fish segment with a market share of around 12%. In the frozen fish product segment, Agroalim holds a market share of approximately 23%, while Ocean Fish accounts for another 15%. In the canned product segment, the King Oscar brand of Thai Union (Thailand) plays an important role with a market share of around 11%, while Calvo (part of Grupo Calvo (Spain)) has a market share of around 10%. In the dried/smoked/salted market segment, important players include Negro2000 with approximately 38% and Ocean Fish with approximately 28% (FFT, 2018).
There are five recognized has producer organisations in Romania representing marine fishing. The POs are presented in Table 72. Due to lack of data availability, the number of vessels and members is not provided.
This section describes the company structures of the four largest fishing companies in Romania that are active in commercial fishing in the Black Sea. In 2017, the Romanian government granted 42 vessels a turbot fishing license, and 123 vessels a fishing license for other species, of which 37 vessels with sprat quota (ANPA, 2018).
The other species concern mostly whelk (rapana) and mussels. In 2015, 4,460 tonnes of whelk (representing 92.1% of total weight landings by the national fleet), 112 tonnes of European anchovy, 106 tonnes of European sprat, 46 tonnes of mussels, and 31 tonnes of turbot were the main species landed (STECF, 2017).
The largest companies in Romania are Miadmar, Brivas, Romfish Marina and Rompescador.
Miadmar is a fish company in Tulsa with catching, processing, retail and catering as business activities. It is active in catching turbot among other species. The company processes and sells freshwater fish and marine fish under the brand name Deltaica, and caviar under the brand name Romcaviar. It has processing facilities and stores in Tulsa, Constanta and Bucharest. The restaurant branch is co-owned by the Producer Organisation RO-Pescador, of which Miadmar is a founding member (Miadmar, 2018).
Miadmar has 48 employees. In 2016, its operating revenue was EUR 4.5 million, up from EUR 2.8 million in the previous year. The company held total assets of EUR 1.3 million in 2016, similar to the previous year (Orbis, 2018bk). The company structure is shown in Figure 105.
Miadmar shows evidence of vertical integration. It has investments in both upstream fish catching, midstream processing and downstream trade.
Romfish Marina SRL is a Romanian limited liability company and owned by three natural persons. The company operates two vessels in the large fleet segment from the port of Constanta. Both vessels have licences to fish turbot in the Black Sea. In 2016, the operating revenue was EUR 287,000, a decrease from EUR 328,000 the year before. The company held total assets worth EUR 217,000 in 2016, an increase from the year before when it held total assets of 199,000. In 2016 it had 11 employees (Orbis, 2018bl).
Romfish Marina shows a certain degree of horizontal integration as it operates two large vessels in the Black Sea.
Brivas operates four vessels. The only shareholder is Vasile Briceag. The Briceag family is also active in tourism (Observator de Constanta – 2018).
Brivas is engaged in horizontal integration through the operation of several vessels in the Black Sea.
Rompescador operates two vessels. There has been a change in shareholders in the company Rompescador SRL in the summer of 2018, when Traian-Ştefan Luchian transferred his shares to Maria Luchian.
Following the withdrawal, the share structure of 310 lei, divided into 31 shares, is as follows: Nazise Cadir holds 11 shares and Maria Luchian 20 shares. Both remaining associates participate with 50% in profit and loss (Ziua de Constanta – 2018).
Rompescador shows a certain degree of horizontal integration as it operates two vessels in the Black Sea.
The above analysis has shown that there is a degree of both vertical and horizontal integration in the Romanian fisheries segment. Horizontal integration is more common, as several companies have expanded their fleet sizes. According to a representative of the PO Asociatia Pescuitului Maritim Tomis (Tomis Marine Fisheries Association), there are companies in Romania that “swallowed up other companies to grow” by buying other vessels. There is no expansion into the processing sector in Romania, because the investments are too high, the European funds confinement rate is low, and there is unstable legislation (Florin, 2018). Nevertheless, one of the selected companies has engaged in vertical integration with activities all through the seafood value chain from catching and processing to distribution and branded marketing.