After February 24, 2022, the cargo traffic from the EU to Russia has more than halved. At the same time, there is evidence that Kazakhstan and Turkey have become transshipment points for European cargo on their way to Russia.
Have the new schemes compensated for the losses from the reduction in direct trade between the Russian Federation and the EU? If the hypothesis that Kazakhstan and Turkey have become transshipment points for European goods to Russia is true, then we should see a significant increase in cargo traffic to these countries, which cannot be explained by an increase in domestic consumption.
According to updated data from the Marketing Department of TELS GLOBAL, based on Eurostat statistics, in terms of industry groups, the reduction in imports from the EU to the Russian Federation by road transport has been recorded in all industry groups, except for the pharmaceutical industry. The largest YoY losses of imports in physical volumes for the period March-May have been recorded in the following industries:
- automotive industry (-91%);
- metallurgy (-61%);
- drinks, juices, water (-55%);
- building materials (-46%);
- chemical industry (-54%);
- pulp and paper (-61%);
- electronics and home appliances (-68%).
The reduction was 60% for goods with code 84 (industrial equipment).
The statistics for road freight transport from the EU to Kazakhstan for March-May 2022 show that supplies to the country have increased in most industries. Imports have increased significantly in the following industries:
- clothing, footwear, and accessories (almost 3.3 times);
- chemical industry (more than 1.5 times);
- metallurgy (+41%).
However, the physical volumes of imports to Kazakhstan and their growth are disproportionate to the lost volumes of imports to the Russian Federation: imports to Russia decreased by more than 1.5 million tons, and imports to Kazakhstan in all industries with positive dynamics increased by only 29 thou. tons.
Imports by road from the EU to Turkey over the period under consideration increased in most industries. The highest growth dynamics is observed in the following industries:
- clothing, footwear, accessories (+91%);
- furniture (+81%).
Significant physical growth is recorded in the following industries: chemical industry; foodstuffs; pulp and paper; building materials; drinks, juices, and water.
At the same time, the total increase in imports from the EU to Turkey in all industries with positive dynamics amounted to 166 thou. tons, which is almost an order of magnitude less than the total reduction in imports to the Russian Federation.
This means that Russia has lost most of its imports from Europe and has not compensated for these supplies with alternative logistic schemes.
What goes to Russia through Turkey and Kazakhstan?
When comparing changes in cargo traffic from the EU to Turkey and Kazakhstan, it can be assumed with a high probability that these countries help Russians transship European goods in the following industries: clothing, footwear, accessories; foodstuffs; chemical industry; furniture.
The increase in imports in other industries can be explained by the growth in domestic consumption, although some of the volumes may also go to the Russian Federation.
It cannot be ruled out that during the summer months the statistics on imports to the Russian Federation could change. There is evidence that supplies from the EU with regard to some commodity groups are being restored. In particular, in June, imports of goods from the EU to Russia in monetary terms increased by 18% compared to May: supplies of perfumes and cosmetics, medical instruments, plastic products, electrical equipment and components are being restored.