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10 things you should know about Russia’s windows and doors market

Even if Russia’s building sector is not where it was last year, the construction work goes on – nationwide housebuilding programmes are underway, recent law changes havemade it easier to build certain types of offices in Moscow, and big projects like the 2018 football World Cup are helping to keep the market moving.

The windows and doors market is more or less tracking the fortunes of the building sector, and demand is still high – $6.5 billion of windows were sold in the country last year.

Here are ten useful facts for any exporters looking to learn more about how to crack Russia's windows and doors market.


1. Imports are still a major part of the doors market. 10% of Russia’s door market is occupied by imports, primarily from Italian, Spanish, Israeli, Greek and British manufacturers.


2. Chinese presence on Russia’s doors market is falling. Chinese companies are always major players in any export market, but the recent drop in the value of the rouble has hurt the country’s presence in the Russian market, which is based on the cheaper end of the market and more susceptible to pressure from local manufactures.


3. Exporters will have most joy in the middle of the market. There are four rough price brackets in Russia’s door market - $150-$400, $400 to $800, $800-$2,500, and $2,500 upwards. Russian producers dominate the sub-$400 bracket, but most imported doors are in the $800-$2,500 section, while Turkish, Finnish and Israeli exporters have a solid presence in the bracket below that. Top-end doors, those above $2,500, are often ordered bespoke, so a combination of Russian and international manufacturers (often Italian) tends to meet demand in this section.


4. There is solid demand for steel doors, but production is very localised. As 90% of all orders for steel doors in Russia are for individual projects, there are very few producers with a nationwide presence. On the imports side, French companies are active in Russia, and there are Chinese exporters with a presence on the market due to price.


5. The business-to-government sector of the doors market could become more vibrant. According to Dariano's marketing director Vladimir Ponomarev, in an interview on the Russian site Dvernoe Delo, companies with good financial reserves will have ‘intense work’ waiting for them in the sector. He also predicts the Russian door market to change over the next couple of years, as consumers become more selective and companies re-think their strategies to focus more on the customer.


6. PVC windows account for 80% of the total windows market. While wooden framed windows are gaining in popularity elsewhere in Europe, the trusty PVC profile is still a favourite among Russian residents, with $4.9 billion’s worth sold in total last year, statistics from okna-media.ru show. Wooden-framed windows (generally more upmarket and used in private projects, with Finland an important supplier) made up 12% of the market, and other materials, mainly aluminium, account for the rest.


7. The share of imports in the PVC window market is staying strong. Even though the market has slightly contracted over the past year, the share of imported materials in the Russian PVC windows market has remained at around 50%.


8. Compared to those in other markets, Russian consumers are less interested in eco-friendliness. While energy saving is becoming more of a buying motivation in Europe, just 2.2% of Muscovites buy windows primarily for environmental reasons, according to a 2014 survey by O.K.N.A Marketing. More important is how a window looks – 15% of the capital’s window buyers said appearance was the main reason for their purchase, up from 13.9% in 2013. Other buying motivations given in the 2014 survey were ability to keep out cold (29% of respondents) and noise (28%), ease of use (10.8%), reliability (6%), and prestige (4%).


9. Foreign window companies are still moving into the market. Even though some market players are wary of conditions in the sector, others are seizing the opportunity to grab market share. The Finnish windows and doors manufacturer Skaala opened a brand new St. Petersburg factory this year, giving it a 50,000-unit production capacity and putting the company in a great position to ride the crest of any recovery in the market.


10. Balconies could be the next growth market. This is what Russian website Oknostroy suggests – as Russians in residential blocks actually own their balconies outright, they are more likely to make alterations to them than they would be to areas that they rent from the building owners. Producers of hinged and sliding glass doors could stand to benefit, as these are the most popular types of balcony structures in Russian apartments. Spanish and Greek companies are generally the main players in this sector of the market.


With specific sections dedicated to windows and doors, the MosBuild exhibition is a great way to meet the buyers and specifiers responsible for meeting Russia's demand for the products. 2016's edition of the event will take place from 5 to 8 April 2016 in the Russian capital - find out more about the show and the business it can bring you.

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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors


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