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At the end of this season the Russian coatings market participants gathered once again at the leading industrial forum – the 15th International Conference “CIS Coatings and Raw Materials Markets”, as is tradition. As the players have come up with many questions to discuss during the year, the conference was expanded from 2 days to 3 this year.

Hard road to growth

The coatings season of 2017 was, undoubtedly, difficult for all Russian coatings market participants. Aside from the traditional factors – declining end-consumers’ solvency, uneasy situation in the construction industry – this year the results of their work were also influenced by unfavourable weather conditions. Moreover, the growth vector of the Russian coatings market was also hit by “cataclysms” in some raw materials markets. These issues were the lynchpin of the first day of the 15th International Conference “CIS Coatings and Raw Materials Markets”. At the roundtable for coatings manufacturers and raw materials suppliers practically everybody agreed that the stagnation of the Russian coatings market has persisted this year and one had to apply much more effort even to reach the levels seen in 2016. Nevertheless, as noted by the development director of Chem-Courier Viktoriya Chernova in her report, the cycle of tightening has ended in the Russian coatings market and a gradual recovery may be expected as early as next year. However, it will be achieved predominantly owing to the industrial segment.

Raw materials issue among topical problems

In 2017 the topic of getting raw materials for coatings production was particularly timely and painful for Russian manufacturers. This year companies have faced problems in procuring and selling raw materials components: changing quality and prices in the Russian market under the influence of global trends, the regularity of shipments etc. That is why the spotlight was shined on discussing the current situation, trends, and development prospects of the main raw materials markets. During the XV International conference “CIS coatings and raw materials markets” four separate sessions looked at the situations in the binders (dispersions, PF-lacquers, and resins), titanium dioxide, pigments, and fillers markets. Discussion participants agreed that the transformation of raw materials markets is not over yet and will most likely continue next year. Moreover, during the event five specialized sessions were held on various innovations in the raw materials markets: in particular, new developments in binders (coatings dispersions, resins), raw materials for wood-protecting goods, and functional additives.

Decorative coatings market: searching for new points of increase in stagnant reality

The participants of the interactive session “Peculiarities of regional product promotion” state that the decorative coatings market has kept stagnating this year. Naturally, competition has kept growing stronger even up to “price wars” because of an absence of points of expansion. The trend of low-margin goods raising their share in aggregate consumption has persisted in 2017. Discussion attendees agreed that for further growth and strengthening, as well as upping the business marginality, one needs to look for new unusual approaches to their operations. Now, the roles of smart optimization of your brand portfolio to cater to changes in consumers’ preferences, using new marketing tools, and widening your distribution channels are getting more important. According to Yekaterina Krasnova, the marketing vice-president of the Association of Sealants and Adhesives Manufacturers, the toughness of raising business profitability should push coatings producers to think about developing other manufacturing directions, in particular adhesives and sealants.

Continuing the discussion of promoting and selling coatings in the market, a training session “Sales growth strategy: distribution or direct sales” was hosted by Nikolay Doroshchuk, the author of QDD and QPG technologies, a member of the European Sales and Marketing Association FMCG. During the session he highlighted many issues, including the possibilities of boosting sales, the advantages of different distribution channels, and why one should develop quality distribution.

Forecasting the coatings industry development for 2018, many players are saying uniformly that the market transformation will continue. And, certainly, nobody is hoping for a miracle. Everyone understands that getting goods results will require more effort than ever before. Many current methods that help companies to conquer the market and amass sales now, will inevitably lead to a drop in business profitability. The issues of raising this indicator and searching for new methods of getting a competitive advantage are getting more and more important. Boosting sales may be possible by pinpointing the market needs. Who will improve distribution by developing new promising niches, how will consumer preferences shift, what will drive the market growth next year – we will find out in autumn 2018 in Sochi at the XVI International Conference “CIS Coatings and Raw Materials Markets”.

 

Information

The XV International Conference “CIS Coatings and Raw Materials Markets” took place in Sochi on October 4—6 2017 at Radisson Blu Paradise Resort & Spa. This year the conference hosted 322 delegates from 12 CIS and European countries. Out of 179 companies there were 61 coatings makers, 15 trading companies, 90 raw materials suppliers, 8 packaging producers etc. Once again the event confirmed its status as the leading industry forum. One of the key innovations this year was the separation of session into two parallel sections. One was dedicated to discussing the market issues, while the other looked at the technological aspect. The business programme was more than full: plenary reports alternated with interactive sessions. In three days a total of 17 sessions were held, one specialized training session, and 60 reports were presented.

Chemours acted as the Platinum Sponsor of the conference. Our Silver Sponsors were Brenntag, Arkema, Koelgamramor, and Evonik, while our Bronze ones were Grace, DeltaChem, and Holliday Pigments. The Official Partners were SIBUR, KRATA, ASAM, Centrlack, and the Quality Paints Association.