07-08-2012 10:37 Belarus
Belarus’ cell phone import up 3.6%/yr in H1 2012 to 557,000 units
Belarus’ cell phone import grew 3.6% on the year in January-June 2012 to 557,000 units worth a total of U.S. $43.3 million (a 11% decrease in value terms), according to preliminary customs statistics data.
China had been the major supplier of cell phones to Belarus, until Belarusian importers reoriented their logistics schemes with focus on Russia. Russia supplied Belarus with 316,300 cell phones in January-June, with 203,900 units shipped from China. Another 39,000 units was imported from India.
The start-of-the-year statistics report testified that Belarus had continued to cut down on cell phone import. Monthly imports had been shrinking both in terms of quantity and value. In April, however, the trend reversed.
The increase in cell phone imports early last year was spawned by cell companies’ promotion campaigns, with budget phones offered at bargain prices, locked with long-term contracts.
In the middle of the year, when the financial crisis broke out in Belarus, cell phone imports started to decline.
Furthermore, after two devaluations of the Belarusian ruble in 2011, the price of imported cell phones grew significantly in terms of the local currency, unlike the earnings of most Belarusians. Besides, Belarus’ cell phone market appears to be saturated following 5 successive years of growth.
The increase in cell phone imports from April 2012 onwards reflects the increase in household incomes, the suspended demand for high-tech smart phones and the decline in retail prices of cell phones.