In 2018, Russia imported contact lenses worth $141.2 million, 4 percent more than in the previous year, according to the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS). The country also exported contact lenses valued at $2.97 million, but it gave no information on the previous year’s export score.
The biggest suppliers of contact lenses to Russia were Ireland with a share of 55 percent of total imports and the U.S. with a share of 23.2 percent. They were followed by the U.K. with a share of 8.7 percent, Malaysia with 5 percent, South Korea with 2.3 percent, Indonesia with 1.1 percent and Germany with 1.1 percent.
During the first two months of 2019, Russian imported lenses for $16.22m, slightly higher as compared to the same period of the previous year, FCS added.
The Russian market for contact lenses is growing at an average pace of 20 percent per year, according to a marketing study conducted by a local consulting agency, Ochkov. In terms of manufacturers, the biggest supplier is Johnson & Johnson with Acuvue, followed by Ciba Vision and Bausch + Lomb, the company estimates.
It is believed that the Russian market for contact lenses has huge growth potential, says another local consulting agency, Finam. As of 2014, only 2 percent of Russian citizens were using contact lenses, while the average European level is close to 8 percent.