President of Association DIANA Alexey Kabanov visited the regular meeting of European Bitumen Shingle Organization (EBSO), which took place on November 21st in Paris, France.

Alexey, you are just back from the EBSO meeting, what are your impressions of this trip?

 In general this trip was positive, and Paris played an important role in it. It’s a wonderful city and you have no right to leave it in bad temper – it’s a most beautiful and romantic city in the world. As for the meeting itself, it was impossible not to notice the sadness of Europeans because of global economical situation.

What can you say about European bitumen shingle market in view of complicated economical situation?

European manufacturers lose their positions on the market, meanwhile Russian-made bitumen shingles is actively promoted, especially in Eastern Europe.

Do I understand it right that current situation is in favor of Russian manufacturers?

Just so. Now shingles as a segment is more competitive that other type of materials for slope roofs. Decline in oil prices creates an additional incentive to develop bitumen material market, since they become more available. So, approximately 30% of shingles prime price is a cost of bitumen, accordingly, price drop of bitumen impacts  prime price of the finished product.

RUFLEX is an EBSO member since 2013, what does it give to your company? 

EBSO is a great opportunity for us for communication, open dialog with representatives of biggest bitumen shingle manufacturers in Europe, including Russia and Turkey. An area where we can share the experience of production and sales. We are all united by idea of promotion bitumen shingles as a best roofing material.

Export of RUFLEX materials to EU countries considerably increased in 2014, how do you explain it?

Every year RUFLEX becomes stronger and current economical situation contributes to it. In addition we have a serious trump card – Russian oil. While European producers have to buy it in neighbor countries, we buy it at a better price, with lower transport and customs  costs.

How European consumer accepts shingles from Russia? 

Yet with caution, as  any human reacts to new and unknown. In our turn we try to dispel myths and doubts about Russian manufacturers. Our partners help us in it with exhibitions and presentations where any anyone can appreciate high quality level and attractiveness of RUFLEX shingles. Today we see certain progress and we are focused on expansion of markets.

Alexey, what is a forecast of EBSO members for import of shingles to Russia in 2015?

On a meeting all members noticed that shingles import market to Russia tends to decrease. Economical situation contributes to it, as well as development of Russian enterprises which are hard to compete with for European producers. According to preliminary estimations, import share of bitumen materials for slope roofs  to Russia shall not exceed 10%. Russian consumers are not ready to overpay for import goods  when they have high-quality domestic products, which they can buy without extra fees and insane markups. 

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