Russia’s import substitution policy may be one factor behind the sluggish growth in exports of polymer products being blamed largely on the high price of domestic raw materials.
For several years, Russia has pursued a national strategy of developing locally made materials in a determined bid to counter the damaging effects of trade sanctions being imposed on it by the West.
A leading Russian technical plastics compounder, R&P Polyplastic has complained that its efforts to export products in Europe and beyond are being thwarted by the high cost of energy and home supplied raw materials.
While the quality of Russian compounds today makes them “highly competitive” with their European counterparts, the export potential of the national polymer industry is being hindered by domestic prices, according to the company’s chief executive Alexander Pavlov.
He told the 3rd Forum of the Plastics Processors Association in Moscow last month that development of foreign sales was also being held back by “a deficit of the brand assortment” of raw materials and the low quality of Russian made materials.
“In 2018, prices of raw materials continued to rise. Currently, Russian block copolymers on FCA terms are more expensive than alternatives from China and even Europe.
“This has a negative effect on the compatibility of Russian compounds on the international market,” Pavlov said.
Moscow-based R&P Polyplastic, the technical plastics compounding arm of Russia’s top plastic pipe maker and plastics processor Polyplastic Group, sought to boost its export sales to European markets.
Last year, the firm announced it had signed a distribution agreement with the German distributor Polytrade Global GmbH of Frankfurt. Polyplastic set out to increase its sales of polyamide and polypropylene compounds to customers across Europe.
The Russian compounder set out to upgrade and modernise its technology and was due to invest €1.5m in 2018 to update processes and other technology at its plants.
Polyplastic said it aimed to boost production capacity overall by 50% during the following five years.