China is dominating the global caviar industry — and prices are plummeting because it’s flooding the market

China is dominating the global caviar industry — and prices are plummeting because it’s flooding the market

  • China farms one-third of the world’s caviar, making it the most significant producer of the luxury food in the world.
  • Chinese caviar producers like Kaluga Queen are flooding the global market, making the food less expensive and more accessible.
  • US producers are now feeling the strain, as caviar prices have dropped 58%in six years.
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Following is a transcript of an episode of Company Expert Today. View the full episode here

This sturgeon can produce as much as 33 pounds of eggs. And simply 1 pound is worth nearly $57,000

It’s caviar– likewise known as “black gold.”

However Chinese caviar producers are flooding the market, making this luxury product less expensive and more available in the United States.

Wholesale costs for caviar fell 58% from 2012 to 2018 for United States manufacturers– and little American caviar farms are struggling to make a profit.

Even so, caviar production in China continues to increase.


One-third of the world’s caviar is made in China, with producers like Kaluga Queen blazing a trail.

Getty Images.

China supplies one-third of the world’s caviar, and its most significant producer, Kaluga Queen, raises its sturgeon in this 221- square-mile man-made lake.

Here, an employee is feeding pellets to sturgeon– which are no ordinary fish.

Xia Yongtao, Kaluga Queen deputy basic manager: “It’s a living fossil from the Cretaceous period, the period of dinosaurs, and like a ‘living Ferrari’ swimming in the water.”

There are about 200,000 of these “living Ferraris” at this farm consuming a diet plan of shrimp, peas, and vitamins. At 7 years old, they can reach up to 13 feet long and weigh 660 pounds

And after tending to them for seven years, it’s not always simple to say farewell.


United States caviar producers are now feeling the strain as costs drop.

Getty Images.

Qiao Yuwen, Kaluga Queen sturgeon farm worker: “When they are fully grown, they can give the company revenue, however they have to leave us. I discover it hard to part with them.”

In the end, it’s a service and the eggs are a special, looked for by lots of all over the world.

Russia utilized to be the world’s leading producer, but overfishing of sturgeon in the Caspian Sea diminished its supply of caviar.

And other nations– consisting of Japan, Italy, and the US– have actually stepped up to satisfy demand.

Today, China leads the charge with 54%of the world’s business caviar farms. And no one has increase production rather as fast as the Chinese.

In truth, China’s caviar production increased tenfold from 2003 to 2016.

And Kaluga Queen has plans to get back at bigger. Its deputy general manager said over the next five years, it will produce 20%to 30%more caviar each year.

This increase in supply is a hazard to other caviar manufacturers, who fear the abundance will lower earnings and reduce the value of their product.

However consumers have whatever to acquire from a lower cost. And for now, caviar is still viewed as a symbol of luxury.

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