A hike in sea transportation tariffs is expected to increase prices of Russian footwear imports in the next few months, with cheaper shoes being most affected by the additional expense.

At the end of 2020, the average tariffs for sea freight from China to Russia jumped from $1,500 to $9,000 per container due to a recent resurgence in Covid-19 cases in China. Consequently, the average price per pair of shoes imported from China is likely to climb by 10 to 15 percent, forecast Mikhail Burmistrov, director of the Russian consulting agency Infoline Analytics.

China accounts for more than half the footwear supply on the Russian market, which makes the upcoming price surge quite painful for Russian customers.

Zenden Group has already increased prices for the spring-summer collection, Andrey Pavlov, founder of Zenden Group, said. Depending on the item, the retail price of footwear is set to rise by 2 percent to 20 percent, he added. Pavlov noted that due to the higher impact of transport costs on cheap footwear, the price increase for that category will be about three times greater than for leather footwear.

Russian companies also raised concerns about the expected rise in the price of components and raw materials for footwear production. According to Sergey Jung, production director of Obuv Rossii, the hike in logistics costs will boost retail prices by 1 or 2 percent for locally produced shoes. Obuv Rossii does not import shoes from China, only components.

According to Russian Business Consulting, shipping tariffs are not expected to decrease before June.