Probable new tensions on the commodity markets. But no risk of shortages, it was indicated this Thursday on the side of Bercy.
“We have little exposure to the Russian market, it’s 1 to 2% of French exports and imports. […] The Russian market is not a strategic market for France”, assured the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire.
24 hours later, if the context had changed, the tone was still reassuring at Bercy, with several media including Midi Libre. Firstly by affirming that the first set of sanctions decided against Russia would only have a “weak to moderate impact” on French or European interests: “Our companies have little or no recourse to sanctioned Russian banks, while ties with sanctioned Russian figures “remain limited”.
And after having assured that “Russia’s dependence on the European Union remains stronger than the EU’s dependence on Russia”, Bercy recalled that Russia represents for France “in terms of exports and imports between the 15th and 17th market or customer, and between 1.5 and 2% of our trade”.
Gas: no price increase for individuals
Gas remains the sector in which trade relations remain “the most important and the most structuring” for France. Russian gas represents “about 20% of our supplies, it is much less than a certain number of our European partners” we recalled from the side of the Ministry of the Economy: “Some are almost monodependent on Russian gas. In Eastern Europe, Slovakia, Latvia or Estonia are at 99% dependency, Finland at 97%, Poland at more than 50%, Germany slightly below.
In France, no short-term concern for individuals: prices were blocked in October until June 2022. “We will see whether or not to extend this price blocking” we slipped Thursday at Bercy.
Dependence on metals, nickel or titanium, should be more finely assessed with the industries concerned this Thursday, but “no situation of monodependence” in this sector is not effective in France.
“Low impact” on cereals according to Bercy
As for cereals, the impact for France “is weak, we are exporters of cereals, we have no problem of dependence on Russian cereals. We have no question of supply” also promised Bercy. In other words, no risk of shortage.
The price of the barrel rises, the fuels worry
But the greatest concern among consumers concerns fuels, as the price of a barrel crossed the 105 dollar mark on Thursday.
“At this stage, we are seeing a rise of just over 5% in the price per barrel, so we are not in a market that has lost all its bearings. We will carefully observe what happens in the coming hours on these markets. […]. The minister was very clear: if need be, he has never closed the door to measures, of whatever nature, which, given the analysis that will be made of the situation, could respond and provide protection to the French” replied Bercy.