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from 09.03.2022

Belarus to redirect timber exports to dodge EU sanctions

Belarus is going to redirect timber exports due to sanctions introduced by the European Union. It was learned from Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov.

The official said: “The pressure of sanctions is certainly extremely unpleasant.” Particularly taking into account the considerable amount of timber Belarus exports to the European Union – $3.2 billion in 2021.

The Deputy Prime Minister went on saying: “Now we just have to redirect our commodity flows. Although we understand perfectly well that the European Union cannot do without our woodworking industry products either since manufacturing chains are so well established.” For instance, Belarus makes quality wooden slabs in sufficient amounts while Polish companies have built furniture factories that relied on these Belarusian products. Belarusian furniture manufacturers organized their business in a way to sell to European retailers.

According to Yuri Nazarov, these links will not have to be severed at once. “Nevertheless, we are ready to redirect some of our flows to the east. We now successfully export sawn timber and wooden slabs to the People's Republic of China. Yes, there are problems with logistics. Europe has always offered a higher profit margin. At the same time China will buy our products and such countries like Azerbaijan, Central Asia countries, Iran where there is no wood will buy them, too. We just have to calmly redirect what Europe refuses to buy and make money by doing so,” he said.

Belarusian Forestry Minister Vitaly Drozhzha also made a few comments about the pressure of sanctions. He said: “All of us understand that these links – purchases, sales – are sensitive both for us and for them, the companies in the European Union. This is why it is necessary to promptly and calmly redirect sales to other markets and look for ways to sell our products.”

The official admitted that the issues the sanctions have caused are rather sensitive but he is confident that the industry's performance and needs of the processing companies will be secured: “Only the direction is likely to change from Europe to Asia. Prices may drop a bit considering the logistics. But I think everything is sufficiently optimistic for us in this regard.”

Photo: BelTA