The Russian ruble plummeted almost 10% Monday 9th March 2020 , falling to its lowest level in more than four years, as oil prices crashed following the breakdown of the Russia-Saudi Arabia pact to limit production.
The ruble was trading at 75 to $1 on Monday evening in Moscow — a 9.5% drop — after another wild start to the week for financial markets around the world.
Russia’s rejection of a renewed round of oil production cuts in the OPEC+ format at a crunch meeting in Vienna on Friday shocked the global energy markets and has prompted analysts to talk of an “oil price war” between two of the world’s largest energy suppliers.
Japanese exporters and Russian imported of used cars started panic. There were two rubble crises in Russia, which drastically influenced the used cars import from Japan. In 2008 used cars import almost stopped for 3 years. Many companies in this business closed, some shipping companies, like FESCO (Far Eastern Shipping Company) closed Japan-Vladivostok directions. After the first crisis only big companies in Japan and Russia have survived. Banks has stopped giving bank credit for exporters, who were exporting cars only to Russia. The second crisis has happened in 2014-2015 years.
Many companies guessing for how long this time ruble drop down will last. If crisis last for long period history will repeat. This week the number of auction bids from Russian customers drastically decreased. Russian companies, who has passed previous crises started cutting their expenses by decreasing the number of employees even though only one week has passed. Other companies timely stop purchasing cars and checking how situation will go.
Japanese exporters who were purchasing the stock cars for Russian market also paused purchases in auctions. Prices for popular car models, which were being exported only to Russia, dropped in Japanese auctions. Everybody is waiting.
If the situation lasts long, following scenario could be expected. In March 2020 people will start purchasing cars,which are already imported to Russia. Prices for used cars already imported to Russia will increase in April. Small companies will leave used car business. It is possible that vessels with big loading capacity , which ECL (Eastern Car Liner) shipping company has, will stop calls to Vladivostok, Russia. Companies that dealing with low cost cars for parts, so called "raspil" or "constructor" cars will survive. The small port of Toyama again will become the main port of export of used cars to Russia.