Scan to Download ios&Android APP

Caviar aficionados dread ban on Russian product

18:55, 1 March 2022

Share this article

Have a confidential tip for our reporters?

Tins of Russian caviar
Caviar is among banned Russian foods after the invasion of Ukraine - Photo: Shutterstock

Katherine Middleton is an addict.

Each morning and just before bed, Middleton must get her fix – a small spoon of Bester Premium Osetra Sturgeon Black caviar, costing $309 for 3.8 ounces.

The 48-year-old Baltimore emergency room nurse normally buys a tin once every couple weeks, but with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week and sanctions slapped against the former's exports, Middleton purchased three tins last the weekend.

“Bars are pouring out Russian vodka, states are banning some Russian imports, is caviar next?” she asked in an interview on Tuesday morning.  

While Russia’s most famous export, vodka, has received the most backlash in terms of food exports, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Russian products from furs to grains are being removed from store shelves across the United States and Europe.

Leaders in at least six US states last week called on shops to yank Russian food items off shelves and out of stock in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. Middleton’s beloved caviar isn’t safe. Once linked to Russian royalty, glamourous Hollywood movie stars, and posh first-class flights, the eggs of sturgeons are now on a growing list of sanctioned items.

Small share of market

Russian sturgeon caviar is expensive and sought after. However, given its price and rarity, a ban on the tangy-tasting black eggs will not have much of an impact on Russia’s coffers, said Paul Isely, professor of economics and associate dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.  

“Russian exports of caviar are pretty small compared to the total market,” he told

Most of Europe's caviar comes from four larger producers. Italy, France, Poland and Germany account for 84% of production, according to the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) report released last year.

It’s estimated that Russia produced between 40 and 50 tons of sturgeon caviar annually, with about 2/3 being exported. 

However, Russian statistics are suspect.

“There are some disagreements about whether the Russian caviar production numbers contain falsely labelled caviar obtained through imports from China and Uruguay, before being re-exported as Russian product,” the report reads.

The Russian Federal Agency for Fishery has set a goal of increasing its export of sturgeon caviar to 38 tons by 2025.

Russia losing markets

Further eroding Russia’s exported caviar market is sturgeon roe in China and North America.

It’s estimated China now produces a third of caviar exports. While there are no official reports on total caviar production in China, FEAP estimates 102 tons were produced in 2021, with approximately 86 tons exported to the US and the European Union.

“China is becoming the biggest player in the caviar export market,” Isely said.

Even with US caviar production in moderate decline, it’s still making a dent on Russia’s hold, with strong exports to Japan, Canada and the European Union.

US sturgeon roe is largely coming from sustainable aquaculture farms which stress controlled growth of the fish. It can take twice as long to harvest sturgeon eggs in the wild as it does in farms. 

So, could a ban on Russia's best-known appetiser open doors and markets for domestic and imported caviar? Nah, said Middleton. 

Even with alternatives from across the globe, die-hard Russian the caviar connoisseur said Russia has the tastiest small, salty sturgeon eggs. 

“I don’t approve of Russia’s action in the Ukraine,” she said. “But they (Russia) do produce the best caviar in the world. It’s a shame if caviar from there is banned permanently.”

Read more

The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
Capital Com is an execution-only service provider. The material provided on this website is for information purposes only and should not be understood as an investment advice. Any opinion that may be provided on this page does not constitute a recommendation by Capital Com or its agents. We do not make any representations or warranty on the accuracy or completeness of the information that is provided on this page. If you rely on the information on this page then you do so entirely on your own risk.

Still looking for a broker you can trust?

Join the 400.000+ traders worldwide that chose to trade with

1. Create & verify your account

2. Make your first deposit

3. You’re all set. Start trading