The Russian plastic and rubber products market has picked up and is gaining momentum. Although recovery is a little slower than in the rest of the BRIC region, there is investment in every area of the industry again. Projects that had been put on hold due to the global financial and economic crisis have got underway again and new tasks are being addressed. There is still considerable need for investment in Russia, with production capacities being expanded and modernised, especially in the areas of packaging and medical technology, as the health and pharmaceuticals sector is receiving greater support from the Russian government. However, the infrastructure is also considered to be an attractive growth market, as are the consumer goods and automobile industries.
Interplastica 2011, the International Trade Fair for Plastics & Rubber, was characterised by the positive market developments. The mood amongst exhibitors was excellent, in view of the wealth of customer contacts, not least due to the many contracts signed during the four days of the fair, which lasted from 25 - 28 January. Some 20,000 trade visitors from the entire Russian Federation and many neighbouring countries flocked to Moscow to visit Interplastica and Upakovka/Upak Italia trade fair for packaging technology, which took place in parallel to it, where a total of 890 exhibitors (at the two fairs combined) presented their range of products and services, covering a total area of over 17,000 square metres.
Erhard Wienkamp, a Member of the Managing Board of Messe Düsseldorf, was thrilled by the response. “The fact that we enjoyed such good feedback at Interplastica, just a few weeks after the world’s leading international trade fair in the industry, K 2010 in Düsseldorf – both amongst the exhibitors as well as amongst the visitors – shows us the great importance of this fair in a key market. Interplastica is a prime player when it comes to meeting leading decision-makers in the plastics and rubber industry from throughout the region, and personal contact is still extremely important in Russia, so having a market presence is crucial.”
European manufacturers of plastic and rubber machines are benefiting from the recovery of the Russian market, with German vendors remaining the number one suppliers, followed by Italian manufacturers. Following the global financial and economic crisis there was a serious slump in demand, but since the 3rd quarter of 2010, which saw exports of machines from Germany to Russia rise 41% on the same period in 2009, there has been sustained recovery. In total, Germany exported plastic and rubber machines worth a total of €76.6 million to Russia in the first nine months of the year. Bernd Nötel from the Fachverband Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen im VDMA (association for plastics and rubber machinery within the VDMA) is optimistic for the future, too. “The market is picking up, even if confidence in lasting stability is slow to become established. The situation in the plastics and rubber processing industry in Russia remains tense, as prices for raw materials are very high and there are relatively few vendors. The country is very rich in resources, but the value creation process has yet to reach this industry. State support for the production of plastic products would be very helpful. German machines are in great demand, but financing new investment remains an ongoing issue.“