• 18. März 2020
  • 11:47
  • Economy

Russia: Current effects of the coronavirus

The Russian Federation is one of the most important trading partners for the port of Hamburg and accounts for most of the container traffic of the Port of Hamburg in the Baltic Sea region. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, we asked our colleague Natalia Kapkajeva, Head of Representative Office Saint Petersburg, about the effects of the coronavirus on the local economy.

At present, the movement of goods is only affected to a limited extent. However, a decline in import-export operations can already be noted regarding cargo to/from China and Italy, where a state of emergency has been declared and quarantine measures have been taken. Thus, although there have been noticeable delays in the direct transport of goods with China and the Far East, repercussions in the European part of the Russian Federation are still relatively minor.

Most affected are currently businesses in the tourism and events sector. Here, the Russian Government has taken strict preventative measures prohibiting any kind of leisure events and meetings of more than 50 people in closed rooms. The planned TransRussia fair in Moscow can therefore unfortunately not take place. A new date has not yet been announced. 
From Wednesday, 18th March, state borders will be closed to non-Russian citizens in order to further contain the spread of the coronavirus. Air traffic, especially to Europe, is already severely restricted. It is therefore difficult to assess the actual economic impact.   

Meanwhile, the government is struggling, despite the increasing turnover figures of the Baltic Sea ports, with an emerging financial and economic crisis due to oil prices. This would further weaken the already fragile rouble exchange rate and reduce domestic purchasing power.

In combination with further restrictions due to the coronavirus, this could have serious consequences for the Russian economy.

You can also find up-to-date information on how the individual market regions are affected on the German Chamber of Foreign Trade’s webpage

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  • Bengt van Beuningen

    Bengt van Beuningen

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