Oil price, Ukraine crisis ‘devasting’ to trailer demand

The instability in Ukraine plus the plummeting oil price has had a devastating impact on the outlook for trailer demand in Russia, according to new research published by Clear. Nearly 24,000 trailers were wiped from the last forecast for the 2015 – 2019 period in the report issued in March 2015.  In the latest forecast a further 8,000 trailers have been removed from the forecast for Russia and the Ukraine.

The changes particularly affect Russia in the 2017 – 2019 period when it was assumed that that a vigorous recovery would be underway in that economy. However, although the current recession in Russia will be over by 2017, the recovery will be very moderate. As a consequence Russia, always the largest market for trailers in Eastern Europe until 2010, has fallen behind Turkey and Poland. Similarly the Ukraine and Belarus have been overtaken by Hungary and the Czech Republic.

After a strong recovery in trailer sales in 2011 the region has either been stalled or has suffered falling trailer demand. 2015 will mark the fourth year that trailer demand has been stuck just below the level of 2011, whilst at the same time demand in Western Europe has seen strong growth, at least in 2014/15.

The East European trade in goods reached an all-time high at the end of 2013, but the growth was choked off in the second half of 2014, again as a result of the situation in Russia and the Ukraine.

According to Clear, “The economic forecast for Eastern Europe is for two years of positive GDP and investment growth in 2016/17, which will result in recovering levels of trade and more demand for road transport. In 2016 growth in trailer demand is forecast in all fifteen countries of the region. Further market growth in 2017 will be wholly dependent on whether a sustainable recovery is underway in Russia.”

Gary Beecroft, managing director of CLEAR commented: “By 2017 new trailer demand for the region will be back at the pre-recession level of 2006.  This is still dependent on positive news from Russia and Ukraine.”

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