Russia will keep export of rawhides from the country banned for as long as is needed to support the domestic shoes industry, so it is unlikely that the restrictions will be lifted in April 2018, Alexey Medvedev, the spokesperson of the country's Economy Development Ministry told Shoe Intelligence.
In October 2014, Russia had prohibited domestic suppliers of rawhides from making any sales abroad over fears that the devaluation of the Russian ruble would encourage higher exports of the products, leaving the growing national shoe industry without the raw material.
The ban has been repeatedly extended. It was confirmed twice this year, in January and September, each time for six months, so now the restrictive measures are slated to last until April 2018.
Three years ago, when the ban was first imposed, the Russian shoe industry fell short of 480 million square meters of rawhide, resulting in the industry not being able to manufacture 20 million pairs of shoes with a value of 50.7 billion ruble (€729.4m-$900m), due to the lack of the raw material, according to a governmental report.
Russia reduced the production of rawhide by nearly 26 percent period in the period from 2010 to 2015, primarily because of the continuing decline in the cattle population throughout the country.
The shortage of rawhide is still an important challenge for the domestic shoes industry, but several major projects in the area of cattle breeding in Russia could change the situation in coming years. One of them is being implemented by an agricultural holding company, Miratorg.