28 Feb. 2022. Russian companies are suspending lumber supplies to European countries in search of new currencies for transactions and expect complications due to possible counter sanctions from the Russian government. “So far, export deliveries of our company have been suspended,” says Alexander Konyukhov, Deputy General Director for Production at SevLesPil. - The main reason for this is that it is not clear how transactions in the currency will be carried out. If foreign buyers are ready to switch to other types of currencies - yuan, rupees, ruble, Iranian rial - we will be ready to supply them with products. If not, we will look for other markets.”

Valery Pisarev, general director of Cherepovetsles, also speaks about the possible termination of export deliveries of lumber. “While everyone is waiting. We are concerned about the intention of Poland to close the border crossing. So there are problems with the supply of lumber to Europe. Trucks availability is very bad. Our company is still delivering, but every day we are afraid of the closure of the border crossing. Then the sending of lumber may stop altogether”, he explains. The situation would be worse, if in response to EU economic sanctions, Russia restrict or prohibit the work of foreign banks in the country. “We are currently working with foreign banks under export contracts. So far, foreign banks are also waiting for further developments. There are fears that in response to the sanctions, Russia may stop or restrict their activities on the territory of the Russian Federation. They can be forced to leave. Because now a lot of companies working for export rushed to them. I think that the government will not allow foreign banks to get more and more customers, while the leading Russian banks will lose them", says Valery Pisarev.

The disconnection of a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT does not threaten Russian exporters of forest products so far. A similar point of view is shared by Alexander Konyukhov. “The disconnection of a number of Russian banks from SWIFT will, of course, have negative consequences, but not critical ones,” he believes. – The government is prepared, and the Russian payment system, in principle, provides the necessary transactions. Foreign partners are also ready to work through the Russian system.”

The intention of the UK to close its ports to Russian ships will have little effect on the supply of wood products from Russia. “Great Britain mainly buys pine lumber and pellets in Russia,” says Valery Pisarev. - If it closes the ports for Russian ships, this will not affect us much. There is a markets in Asia, Egypt, Israel. We'll go there. The market will reshape. Although it is clear that we will not do without losses.