Sep 9, 2022
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Rising Prices: Paradoxes of Parallel Imports

Rising Prices: Paradoxes of Parallel Imports

Photo: Christian Ohde/ Look Press

Despite the steady depreciation of the dollar and the euro, imported goods continue to rise in price, for some reason prices for “import substitution” of domestic production are also rising. This unpleasant process is not commented on by officials in any way, Rosstat does not see it point-blank, that is, de jure, there is nothing of the sort. But de facto it exists, and we face it every day. What’s the matter?

There is no clear version from the so-called “experts” and “analysts”.

“Everything related to the supply of imported components is complicated by logistics. The delivery of goods became more complicated and more expensive, so the prices both went up and stayed there. What will happen next, in the fall, is unclear. Foreign manufacturers raised prices by 20-30%. Their retailers, accordingly, changed the cost of goods on store shelves by about the same amount. Naturally, this rise in price will come to us, consumers. Probably, in mid-September we will already feel it. As a result, household appliances, perfumes and cosmetics will rise in price by at least 15%,” predicts a member of the Council for Financial, Industrial and Investment Policy of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Anna Vovk.

“The biggest contribution to price growth will be made by imported goods against the backdrop of a reduction in supply and a potential growth in the dollar,” says the head of investment analytics at Renaissance Credit Bank Roman Chechushkov.

Somehow unconvincing. Since May of this year, the dollar exchange rate has risen to around 60 rubles, since the same time the cost of many foreign goods has increased by 50% or more. At the same time, we are constantly being told that stable channels of “parallel imports” have been established, and there will be no more price hikes. Maybe it’s worth trying to figure it out? how exactly this import is arranged?

“Prices now seem to be “double”. In Europe, goods, of course, are centrally purchased in euros, but we, retailers, have to pay for them at the “internal” rate of 120 rubles. This is for now, what’s next? I can’t tell you. Even in the spring this was not the case, but now it’s somehow like this. Accordingly, our sale prices for equipment are completely inadequate, in fact, sales have stagnated. And this, as you might guess, leads to a lack of orders to the distributor, and, ultimately, to a shortage of these products, ”explains Ruslan, director of a company specializing in climate equipment.

Foreign manufacturers themselves do not raise prices. Many companies, especially in the EU, now have huge sales problems, on the contrary, they are ready to cooperate with Russia. Even “fuchs”, bypassing the sanctions. The main thing is that at least someone pays them, and the goods do not accumulate in warehouses. No one even stutters about increasing selling prices, and if such an idea arises, then they break off foreigners immediately and abruptly.

“Yes, we recently had such a conversation, that is, it didn’t just take place, it was designated … They complained that instead of 17–20 thousand euros a month, the factory now pays more than 150 thousand euros for electricity. They say it would be nice to talk about increasing prices. He answered with a sharp refusal – your colleagues have the same problems, it is not difficult to find alternative suppliers. Everyone has a sales crisis, so think about it. That’s it, they immediately shut up, apologized and no longer blathered, ”says businessman Pyotr.

At the same time, what is most surprising, no one is carrying cash, his payments, as before, calmly go to the EU, and no one blocks them. Yes, at the border we have to reload goods from a European truck to ours, the costs have increased slightly. But only.

Or like this.

“All of our deliveries now go to Russia through a distributor who has a warehouse in the Baltics. From there, the goods are already imported into your country,” explains a representative of a European auto parts manufacturer.

How interesting … But it seems like the Baltas have “cut off the oxygen” for us?

So, in this case, we have two different import channels – such as “parallel” and direct. In the second case, prices really depend on the euro exchange rate, in the first case they do not. They are on their own. From a lantern. As ordered. Who will order?

Another example. Apple introduced the iPhone 14, and it immediately turned out that it could also be bought in Russia. This was directly stated by the Russian authorities. Just like some advertising agents …

“The model will be delivered to the Russian Federation through parallel imports. If consumers want to buy these phones – please. There will be such an opportunity. It was decided to extend the operation of the parallel import mechanism for the next year,” said Denis Manturov, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

And then the price came up from somewhere – if in America the cost of a show-off toy starts at $ 800, then in our country you will have to pay about 90 thousand rubles for it, that is, one and a half times more expensive. This is from what such a hangover?

More than enough questions. Firstly, why did the state program take into account the products of a particular company, namely Apple? In fact, expensive and useless trinkets. If you need mobile communications, then you can get by with legally imported products from China, fortunately, there are now smartphones for every taste. Nothing worse than the iPhone.

Secondly, where does the horse price tag come from? It seems to be declared that parallel imports are not regulated. The Russian company “A” buys some goods from a certain company “B” in the country “C”, and, as you might guess, in bulk. Large. Yes, taking into account such difficulties, the same iPhone will turn out to be a little more expensive, but just a little. Demand in the same crisis Europe, and in other countries is now in trouble, and traders are happy with any, even insignificant, earnings. Especially this one – to resell a large consignment of goods “from the wheels”, that is, quickly and profitably wrap up capital. By the standards of foreign countries, this is super-profitable!

Thirdly, where did “domestic prices” and “single distributors” come from? It turns out that someone manages this very parallel import no less in parallel, and in parallel receiving superprofits. And we are simultaneously becoming poorer, the last pennies are being pumped out of the citizens of Russia.

Various “experts” like to speculate about the shortage of spare parts and “consumables” for foreign cars, but here we are in for surprises. It turns out that their deliveries to the Russian Federation even increased, and significantly. For a number of positions, as much as twice, and on average by 30%. That is, there should not be any shortage, a strong rise in prices – two or three times and moreover – too. But the cost of parts continues to rise constantly.

With “import substitution” something is also somehow strange. I mean where there is. Or declared. For example, for some reason, prices for domestic auto parts are also growing wildly. Which seem to be made in the Russian Federation. Or are they not made in the Russian Federation, and the officials, together with the hucksters, are brazenly lying there? For example, an air filter from a well-known Russian manufacturer with article number 01231 (another number 4627096790545) has increased in price by 550-600 rubles to a thousand or more over the past three months. It’s like why? And there are many such examples. But for some reason, no one notices this topic.

The whole thing smells very, very bad. On the one hand, we are told about the exorbitant difficulties, dangers and high cost of this very “parallel import”, on the other hand, various juicy details are revealed. And the conclusion is banal – Russian people are robbed, brazenly and shamelessly.

Yes, and with import substitution, there are many, many questions. The development of industry is weak, officials feed the people with fairy tales about a brighter future, while gold is exported from the Russian Federation, exchanging it for cut green paper.

Names and surnames have been omitted or changed, let’s not interfere with these people’s work, they just don’t do anything bad for Russia, on the contrary.

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