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Interplastica with Positive Feedback

Russian Market Recovered - International Business Improved

About 900 companies from 30 countries presented their innovations at the two trade fairs interplastica (the 21st International Plastics and Rubber Trade Fair) and upakovka – Processing and Packaging in the SAO Expocenter in Krasnaja Presnja, Moscow, Russia, from 23. to 26. January and were unanimous in reporting a tremendous response and impressive business success. 24,900 experts from all over Russia and from the neighboring countries visited interplastica and upakovka. 23,000 visitors were registered in 2017.

The positive feedback received lately from the Russian market and, in particular, from the plastics, rubber and packaging industry as well as the process industries associated with it has now been confirmed very emphatically at the two trade fairs. The upswing in major market segments is leading to strong demand for plastic and rubber products as well as packaging. The manufacturers of these products are investing as much as they can in modern production technologies and materials, in order to be able to satisfy the increasingly exacting requirements made by their customers.

Polymer Plaza in Hall 1 at interplastica (© Messe Düsseldorf)

Polymer Plaza in Hall 1 at interplastica (© Messe Düsseldorf)

The trade visitors were very impressed by the wide range of innovative products and services on show that gave them a valuable insight into trends and future market opportunities. The improvement in the rouble exchange rate is now helping to enable Russian companies that had to defer necessary purchases in the recent crisis years to invest in the modernisation of their production.

Business Is Improving

Global exports of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia declined for a number of years. In 2016 (more recent figures are not available yet), the total value of supplies to Russia from all over the world amounted to about EUR 326 million, which was almost 43 % lower than in the previous year. Two of the most important sources of supply – Germany and Italy – are, however, reporting that exports increased enormously in 2017. From January to November 2017, German deliveries of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia totalled EUR 104.1 million, which represents growth of 43.5 % over the same period the previous year (source: VDMA plastics and rubber machinery association). The Italian manufacturers of machines, equipment and molds for the processing of plastics and rubber delivered goods worth EUR 73 million to Russia in the first nine months of last year, which amounts to 109 % more than in the same period of 2016. According to Amaplast, the Italian industry association, this means that Russia is one of the ten most important export destinations again, following very poor years that were attributable to economic sanctions and difficult market conditions.

Thorsten Kühmann, Director of the VDMA plastics and rubber machinery association, is confident about the current situation on the Russian market: “The patience and persistence shown by the German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, who continued to cultivate German-Russian business relationships even in bad economic times, paid off in 2017. After years of decline, deliveries from Germany increased substantially. As a result, the poor previous year was already exceeded considerably in the first eleven months of 2017." He goes on: "We expect the Russian economy to continue its recovery and to stimulate investments in the packaging industry, since demand for high-quality packaged goods is growing. An increasing number of positive signs are coming from the automotive sector and the construction industry too. Machines “made in Germany” will benefit from this and will strengthen their position as market leaders in Russia."

Mario Maggiani, Amaplast Director, confirms: "Russian processors are investing not only to expand their production lines but also to increase their quality. Italian manufacturers are benefitting from this, because they have a good reputation in the country and are in a position to supply turnkey high-tech equipment that meets the most demanding of quality and productivity requirements.” However, Maggiani does not expect sales levels reached by Italian plastics machinery manufacturers in 2007, for example, with a total volume of more than EUR 200 million, to be matched in the foreseeable future: “That will be neither easy nor possible in the short term. Demand in the Russian plastics processing sector for mature technologies to satisfy customers’ needs for high-quality products will definitely be continuing to increase, however."

More than 50 companies from Italy, about 40 of which exhibited on the joint Amaplast booth, experienced lively demand during the trade fair and are expecting good business as they follow up the event.

Side Events

Innovative technologies for all areas of plastics processing were presented not only on the stands of the 650 interplastica exhibitors but also in the lectures and discussions held at the Polymer Plaza in Hall 1 as well as in the context of the special 3D fab-+print Russia show. In technical talks and demonstrations, Russian and international experts focussed on developments in and the potential of additive manufacturing.

For Petra Cullmann, Global Portfolio Director Plastics & Rubber at Messe Düsseldorf, the well-attended conference and exhibition were a clear indication of the need to concentrate on this topic in future as well: “There is strong demand for information about this technology. About half of the visitors to interplastica already reported that they went or planned to go to the special 3D fab+print show when the event premiered in 2017.

The next interplastica in Moscow is taking place from 29 January to 1 February 2019, again at the same time as upakovka.


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