Russian timber market: potentialities and opportunities unveiled at International Conference in Moscow
The event was supported by the department of industry of the KhMAD-Yugra and partnered by BOHNENKAMP AG, StenaLine, Indufor, Heliports of Russia.
The participants included regulatory authorities, Russian and foreign businesses, timber exchanges, transport operators, sawn wood vendors and exporters.
Ivan Sovetnikov, chairman of the Moscow region forest management committee highlighted the key topics for the forest industry in his opening address. "Being rather controversial, the Forestry code undergoes a lot of changes annually. Today we will examine what has been done right and what kind of fine-tuning the Code is going to need," he said.
This agenda was taken further by Pavel Pavlov, chief adviser of the Presidential State-Legal directorate. He pointed out to the complexity of the forestry Code legal dimension and said that 2017 will see a major overhaul of the Code and related instruments. According to Pavlov, the State Duma is currently considering four bills foresee changes in trading and address the matters of conservation and protection of forest regeneration as well as the ‘forest amnesty’.
Dmitriy Makhonin, vice chairman of the exchange committee of the Federal antimonopoly service of Russia (FAS), spoke about the importance of developing transparent pricing and creating civilized relations among market players as FAS’ the main task. Makhonin said that the government places great emphasis on exchange trading under agreements with regional authorities.
The conference was also attended by international companies and associations that have a strong interest in Russian timber trading and the development of the Russian forest sector.
One of them, Evgeniy Lopatin, senior scientist at the Finnish Natural Research Institute, said that Russia has enormous timber potential but it structurally varies from one region to another. He believes there has been an imbalance between wood processing and timber hubs, further exacerbated by the shortage of railcars. "In other words, balance between economic efficiency and regional technical capacities must be found," he said.
China being a most important buyer of the Russian timber, the presentation by the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) generated a lot of interest among the audience. Its vice President Li Jgiafen spoke about the development of Sino-Russian timber trade market. "The developed logistics allows the Russian timber to be supplied to Tibet, Xinjiang in the west, Guangdong and Yunnan in the south," said Li Jiafeng. The speaker added that Russia and China jointly participate in such international projects as ‘One Belt and One Road Initiative’, ‘China, Mongolia and Russia Economic Zone’.
China's imports of Russian timber and sawn wood were at the heart of the debate. After the CTWPDA presentation, the conference participants concluded that earlier Russian statistics is well below the figures provided by the Chinese speaker.
While evaluating wood processing prospects, most speakers considered them as start-up projects and laboratory studies.
Conference participants were unanimous in supporting the relevance of the Conference theme and offered a broad-based momentum to resume the discussions next year.
[Photo courtesy of Max Conference]