The Russian Market Is Stable and Well Supplied
How has the supply of consumables changed during 2022-2023? How have the ranges and volumes changed? To what extent have the Chinese manufacturers been able to replace the products of American, Japanese and European manufacturers?
The Japanese manufacturers have made the conditions of working with the Russian distributors worse; some have refused to supply their products to the Russian market. With such a negative background the Chinese manufacturers are growing their share of supplying the Russian market partly replacing the Japanese supply but not completely.
Right now, the Chinese manufacturers lack the raw material base, the high-quality components and the technological solutions to release products that equal the Japanese in terms of quality. The toners from the Chinese manufacturers are more abrasive in contrast with the toners by the Japanese manufacturers. Also, they have issues with melting temperatures. Both of these factors lead to the higher wear of the printing devices (OPCs, magnetic roller sleeves, blades, fuser units and rollers).
As a rule, Chinese-made toners are more contrasting, which leads to higher levels of consumption destroying their cost-effectiveness if compared with relatively expensive Japanese toners, and also causing issues with relaying of half-tones. Despite all the disadvantages mentioned above, Chinese toner manufacturers such as Golden Green, HGOA (Handan) and ASC are looking quite decent in terms of text printing even when compared with the Japanese toner makers. The Russian market is stable and well supplied.
Are there any new players and new perspective brands in the Russian market? How has the market of consumables changed for the different segments of printing devices? What is happening to the segment of color laser printing consumables? Is there any replacement for the quality Japanese toners? Are the quality non-OEM cartridges for color laser printing being represented on the Russian market?
With the beginning of the Special Military Operation, the main suppliers of office equipment HP, Canon, Kyocera, and Xerox have left the Russian market. They were replaced by new vendors, mainly of Chinese origin. The first evaluation of the equipment by the new suppliers shows they are based on the well-known models of Japanese and American manufacturers.
Therefore, in the field of compatible consumables, no new players are seen to be emerging right now, which is the opposite with respect to the new brands by the manufacturers of laser equipment. The market is stable enough and saturated; however, there is a lack of some Japanese products, such as carriers and partly color toners. There is practically no replacement for quality Japanese color toners except for chemical color toners by DingLong, which we have been in our market for more than a year already. The DingLong toners are used by the Chinese cartridge maker Mito, which, in our opinion, is one of the best quality manufacturers of color-compatible cartridges and is being supplied under the UNITON Premium brand.
The color toners by the Japanese manufacturers, IMEX, Tomoegawa, and MKI, are still above any competition; and we continue to supply them to Russia (however, with great toil).
How noticeable is the Russian-made printing equipment on the Russian market? Is there a real demand for the consumables for Russian printing equipment?
The most noticeable Chinese brand on the Russian market is undoubtedly Pantum; the equipment by that company has been supplied to Russia for the last couple of years. Also, the market for compatible materials for this brand has been formed. We always have toners, OPCs and chips for the most popular models in stock.
As for other Chinese-Russian brands, such as Cactus, Avision, Katusha, and F+ imaging, the supply of equipment by those brands started no more than a year ago. In our opinion, the compatible supplies for the above brands will be in demand on the market, no earlier than a years’ time, after the saturation of the users of such equipment will take place. As I mentioned, the majority of models by those brands are based on the well-known models of American and Japanese manufacturers of printing equipment, so we do not expect any issues with the corresponding supplies.
How have the volumes of supply and the prices changed during the last year? What about the time-terms of supplying and the product range? What are the problems to be solved by the Russian im- porters of printing consumables?
Right now, it is possible to say that our industry has been practically restored after the logistic and manufacturing disruptions of the pandemic period. The manufacturers’ prices have grownslightly, if at all, and the terms of delivery have almost returned to the pre-pandemic level.
Right now, we see a certain lowering of prices on transferring the cargo from China and some shortening of time-terms. The product range is practically restored. Unlike the Chinese manufacturers, a number of Japanese manufacturers still experience disruptions with the supply of the raw materials for the manufacturing of their products leading to disruptions in supplying the full range of their products.
The main source of anxiety is the banking sector in terms of across-the-border remittances. Payments in USD are practically impossible due to the enormous remittance commissions imposed by the banks. The majority of Russian banks do not open accounts in USD, mainly preferring not to work with this currency. The payments in RMB also have their limitations due to the Chinese banks being varied because of the American and European sanctions imposed on the large Russian banks fearing the secondary industrial sanctions.
We hope the work undertaken by our government and bank structures will allow an improvement in timing to avoid the above-mentioned difficulties and fully normalize the payment system between Russia and China.
- in Russian — https://sforp.ru/bireview/review2023_39.htm
- in English — https://sforp.ru/birevieweng/review2023_39.htm
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