Portuguese companies “distance” from Russia
Portuguese companies have either stopped trading with Russia or have distanced themselves after it invaded Ukraine on 24 February.
According to the online news source Observador, some companies who had done business in Russia prior to the invasion tied to distance themselves from the controversy, while others said they were seeking alternative supply and sale markets.
Wine exporters have found it logistically impossible to deliver orders made prior to the conflict, while at least one Portuguese home furnishing and decor boutique in Moscow has closed its doors and opened another in London.
However, there are still some trading links between the two countries, albeit on ice for the time being. Steel coil for tyre making, acrylonitrile for cars and steel coils for tubes are all products that are imported from Russia, while there are companies that make component moldes that have had business in the country.
Several companies in Portugal relied on Russia for the supply of goods essential for their production before the war, in 2021. Imports from Russia stood at around €1.06Bn last year.
For some companies, reducing their dependence on Russia had been a goal before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, some because of the pandemic, and others because of the conflict. Others still want to retain their trading and links and wait for better times.
Many companies listed by Portugal’s export agency AICEP, or the National Statistics Institute (INE) which have ether bought or sold products and goods in Russia, or invested in the country, either did not respond to the Observador or tried to distance themselves by saying they were seeking other alternatives.
The newspaper Publico states that Portuguese exports to Russia were already insignificant before the invasion and practically dried up within a week after the invasion either because of sanctions, logistics issues or order cancellations.
Companies that are said to be reducing their dependance on Russian imports include SGL which produces carbon materials and goods and Oli which produces sanitary systems and has a €1.5 million investment in Russia. The company has suspended further investment projects but has maintained operations at its independently managed factory in Russia which employs 40 staff.