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2 Jun 2020

Belarusian construction materials manufacturer Keramin taps into Swedish market

Belarusian construction materials manufacturer Keramin taps into Swedish market
At the enterprise. An archive photo

MINSK, 2 June (BelTA) - The Belarusian construction materials manufacturer OAO Keramin began exporting ceramic tiles to Sweden, the head of export sales at OAO Keramin Yevgeny Volkov told BelTA.

“Of course, the pandemic has affected, in one way or another, the work of our company. Since mid-March the export of ceramic tiles to  the Baltic states and Uzbekistan has completely stopped. But this is not a reason to give up. We continue to search for new trading partners, work tirelessly to diversify our markets. We have tapped into the Swedish market, which, like Belarus, has not imposed strict restrictive measures in connection with coronavirus. We have found a trading partner there who now offers our ceramic tiles to Swedish customers. So far, we have shipped the products worth $24,000 there,” the head of the department said.

As the supplies to a number of countries have been put on hold amid COVID-19, the export of ceramic tiles produced by OAO Keramin decreased by 26.2% in real terms, and by 23.6% in U.S dollars in January-April, Yevgeny Volkov said. Shipments to some markets have increased though insignificantly. Thus, in January-April of this year, the export of ceramic tiles to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Estonia have grown. All in all, OAO keramin shipped $11.4 million worth of tiles in January-April. Ceramic tiles account for about 85% of the total sales.

As for Russia, which is the main market for OAO Keramin, the export to that market has shrunk. In January-April of this year the export of ceramic tiles to the Russian market plummeted by 27% in real terms, by 21% in U.S. dollars, and  by 18% by Russian rubles. “The decrease in real terms is more significant, because the company has recently pursued a policy to reduce the share of low-margin products in the total sales in favor of high-margin goods. For example, if the fall in square meters is higher and less in U.S. dollars, it means that we have shipped more high-margin products,” Yevgeny Volkov explained.

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