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INTERPLASTICA AND UPAKOVKA 2017: RUSSIAN MARKET GAINS MOMENTUM
The recent staging of interplastica, 20th International Trade Fair Plastics and Rubber, and upakovka, 25th International Trade Fair for Processing & Packaging, in Moscow reflected the improving Russian market. Some 800 exhibitors from 33 nations presented their innovations to 23,000 visitors from Russia and neighboring countries (20,900 visitors in 2016). Following a difficult time dominated by political tensions, a drop in the oil price and a weak ruble, experts are expecting that the domestic economy will move out of recession. The World Bank is also forecasting economic growth in Russia for 2017. Western companies are anticipating an upswing and see this as confirmation of their policy of maintaining their business contacts in difficult years. This positive outlook applies in particular to the plastics, rubber and packaging sectors and the related processing industries.
“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. The atmosphere in the halls was remarkably good, the exhibitors reported very interested visitors who were also keen to place orders. Trade visitors take the unique opportunity at the trade shows to familiarize themselves with the new developments on the world market and to negotiate directly with suppliers,” commented Werner M. Dornscheidt, Presient & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.
The strong demand for Western technology in Russia continues and there is a particular need for further optimization in the manufacturing of consumer goods, food and packaging. The attendees gave the trade shows very good ratings for the wide range of companies and their product innovations.
A visitor favorite at interplastica 2017 was the new platform 3D fab+print Russia. For the first time, Russian and international experts presented developments, opportunities and challenges of the new technology. Petra Cullmann, Global Portfolio Director Plastics & Rubber at Messe Düsseldorf, was pleased about the well attended lectures and presentations: “Messe Düsseldorf launched the brand 3D fab+print three years ago, in order to focus specifically on this issue – which will be of particular importance in future – at some of our trade fairs. There was overwhelming interest in the premiere here in Moscow; it is apparent that a very great deal of information is needed about this technology. I am certain that we will give it a special platform in the coming years again.” The established “Meeting Point Raw Materials” and the lectures and discussion panels at the Polymer Plaza were also part of the interplastica 2017 program.
Even though exports of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia have been declining for a number of years, the Russian market never lost its significance for Germany and Italy - the two most important European suppliers. German deliveries of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia decreased for the third year in a row. From January to November 2016 they amounted to EUR 73.3 million. However, since many other export nations are also having sales problems on the Russian market, Germany’s market position has not changed, it remains the most important supplier nation and has only lost minimal market share (23.6% in 2015). Germany is followed by China with a market share of 12.6% and Italy with 9.2%.
Thorsten Kühmann, Director Plastics and Rubber Machinery, Forum Composite Technology at VDMA, (German Engineering Federation), noted: “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.”
The Italian manufacturers have been reporting decreasing sales in trade with Russia since 2012 as well and in the first three quarters of 2016, the plastics and rubber tooling and machines sold to Russia amounted to about EUR 36 million. Mario Maggiani, Director of the Italian machine manufacturing association Assocomaplast, commented: “The collapse of the oil and gas price, 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’ (machinery as well as, for example, fashion) increased by 9% points in December 2016 is definitely a positive sign. A substantial recovery is apparent, provided that the price of oil does not slump again. A great deal also depends on how the relationship between Russia and the U.S. develops after the election of President Trump.” The Italian exhibitors were unanimous in their positive assessment of interplastica 2017.
The next concurrent staging of interplastica and upakovka will take place in Moscow from January 23 – 26, 2018. For further information on visiting or exhibiting at interplastica or upakvoka 2018, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America, 150 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL 60601. Telephone: (312) 781-5180; Fax: (312) 781-5188; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Visit our web site http://www.mdna.com; Subscribe to our blog http://blog.mdna.com; Follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/Packaging_MDNA
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