Russian importers found themselves in a difficult situation: foreign suppliers do not ship goods, for the first time in two decades, demanding money in advance. Banks do not credit imports for fear of bankruptcy, and European insurers for the same reason refuse to insure their financial risks.
This year, Russian importers will face challenges they have not encountered since perestroika. Due to fluctuations in exchange rates, foreign suppliers refuse to send products to Russia without 100% prepayment. This will hit the clothing importers hardest. “Buyers of expensive clothing and footwear chains bought 15% of the standard range for the summer season. The shops will be really empty. Importers are forced to offer real money, and this significantly worsens their financial performance. There are simply no supplies, ”says the deputy chairman for corporate business of the Russian subsidiary of a European bank.
"Recently, all financial schemes that were previously only written about in textbooks have become in demand," says the CFO of a large non-food retailer. In addition to a loan, companies have a hope for a letter of credit (a form of settlement in which the bank assumes the obligation to pay) or a bank guarantee: without these instruments, the chance of getting something from abroad without prepayment drops to zero.
“Regardless of the instruments, all the money has become immensely expensive for wholesalers, and many Russian companies will simply leave the import market, market participants fear. Only the largest retailers are in a relatively stable position. "