April 8, 2022. – While the western trade routes fade away, the Russian authorities tell that exports will be re-directed to Asian markets. It gives a feeling like the Asians are standing still without materials, and will quickly start buying Russian products once they get the opportunity. That is hardly the case.
Business deals are made between private companies. They have a commercial interest to improve, and that’s why they search for new customers all the time. A government pointing out “new” export territories, reminds us of Soviet Union’s 5-year plans.
In recent years, Russian plywood production has expanded. There are still plenty of traditional companies producing 5×5 feet square-edged panels, but the growth has taken place through new investments in large panel sizes.
The companies investing in modern technology rely on export markets. They aim for more value-added products with different surface options and constructions. They also target to increase the share of industrial end-users like trailer manufacturers and LNG-vessel shipyards, instead of selling everything to distributors.
China is not interested in buying bulk plywood because they produce it themselves already. The Chinese demand for high-end plywood is also small. As a country, China wants to develop and modernize its own industry. The big interest is in raw materials. That means logs and veneers. Then again that is something that Russia doesn’t want to export.
Selling plywood is not an on/off business. It takes time and several deliveries to establish trustful customer connections. Plywood saleswomen and men have done their job and explored the world. There are no empty market pockets waiting for plywood.
The Russian plywood companies had a record year in 2021. Now the business landscape is destroyed for years to come. Thousands of Ukrainian people and Russian soldiers have died. For what reason? Denazification??