© Alan Wilson/Flickr
There is confidence in Russia’s plastics and packaging industries for the year ahead, according to the organisers of Interplastica and Upakovka.
Developments in major consumption segments are leading to growing demand in the production of plastics and rubber products and packaging, Messe Düsseldorf said.
The country’s economic recovery is expected to be borne out across the plastics and packaging sector, following a difficult period dominated by political tensions, falling oil prices and a weak rouble. The World Bank is forecasting economic growth for Russia in 2017 too, as the country moves out of recession.
The region’s political prospects are also looking up, with the promise of renewed relations with Washington following the election of Donald Trump.
Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner M Dornscheidt said: “It is now paying off for the international exhibitors at Interplastica and Upakovka that they have maintained their presence in Russia and have remained in contact with their business partners there. They are benefitting now that business is gaining momentum again.”
Exports of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia have been declining for a number of years, with the latest available figures – for 2015 – showing that the total value of deliveries to the country from all over the world amounted to about €570 million – 13.7% lower than the previous year.
The two most important European suppliers – Germany and Italy – registered shortfalls too, with experts expecting this trend to extend into 2016’s final figures.
German deliveries of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia decreased for the third year in succession, down by more than 38% in total to €73.3 million. But similar fortunes for other export countries are expected to allow Germany to keep its market position as the largest export of plastics and rubber machinery to the country.
It is followed by China with a market share of 12.6%, then Italy with 9.2%.
Thorsten Kühmann, director of the trade association Fachverband Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen at VDMA, said: “We are now working on the assumption that business in Russia has bottomed out. The reason for this optimistic assumption is the noticeable upswing in the packaging sector as a direct effect of the Russian food sanctions. An increasing number of investments are being made in the domestic food industry due to the ban on food imports. The food products manufactured in Russia need to be given an appropriate shelf life afterwards. Business with German plastics and rubber machinery started to increase again in 2016 as a result. We are expecting this to have a positive impact on sales and exports in 2017.”
Meanwhile, Italian manufacturers have also been reporting decreasing sales in trade with Russia since 2012; in the first three quarters of 2016, the country’s plastics and rubber tooling and machines sold to Russia amounted to about €36 million.
Mario Maggiani, director of the Italian machine manufacturing association Assocomaplast, shares the view that the economic situation is gradually improving.
He said: “The collapse in the price of oil and gas, which account for more than 40% of government income, and the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU led to a very difficult situation – the World Bank estimates that poverty in the country has reached the highest level since 2007. The situation is changing now, however – the fact that the total exports of products ‘made in Italy’ (machines as well as, for example, fashion) increased by 9% in December 2016 is definitely a positive sign.
“A substantial recovery is apparent, provided that the price of oil does not slump again. Although a great deal also depends on how the relationship between Russia and the US develops after the election of President Trump.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
World Beverage Innovation Awards – NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES!
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the global beverage industry.
Don’t miss out on having your innovations recognised on a global scale.
Deadline for entries 23 July – enter now!
Don’t get left behind
Start your free Foodbev magazine trial today and join thousands of fellow industry professionals in receiving food and drink trends direct to our business.
Click here to start your free trial