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The raw (i.e. not adjusted for the seasonal factor and random component) data received in the course of the April survey demonstrated a slowdown of the rates of growth in demand and output, and an increase in the redundancy of finished stocks; however, it should be noted that these developments occurred at the background of a rise in the share of enterprises reporting about normal finished stocks and demonstrating growing confidence of forecasts. The exclusion of the seasonal and random components from the time series of the balances of changes in demand and output demonstrated that the negative developments observed over the last month are not so significant and have not yet overcome the positive trends in the dynamics of Russian industry, which judging by the results of surveys formed in February and March of 2005.

The intensity of growth in effective demand has declined by 11 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in March; however, it remains rather high: since the beginning of 2004 more rapid increases in sales have been registered only three times. The monthly dynamics of demand observed in February through April of 2005 were second only to the dynamics registered in year 2000.

After the adjustment for the seasonal factor, the rate of slowdown in the growth of sales was registered at only 4 points, while after the exclusion of the random component it was demonstrated that the rates of growth, which were highest among those observed in 2001 through 2005, were retained. The absolute decline in demand was registered only in electrical power engineering and the forestry complex. As a result, the evaluations of demand have improved. The share of enterprises satisfied with sales has for the first time since the beginning of 2005 exceeded 50 per cent in industry on the whole.

Only mechanical engineering, light industry, as well as the industry of construction materials have failed to reach this level.

Almost a similar situation was observed as concerns the dynamics of output. The initial data demonstrated a slowdown in the rates of growth from 48 balance points to 23 balance points. After the elimination of the seasonal factor, the balance made only 3 points (as compared with 33 points registered in March). However, the exclusion of the random component has increased this indicator to points, what was the best value observed since the second half of year 2000. In April, growth persisted across all industries with the exception of electrical power engineering.

However, as it has turned out the April growth was insufficient to absorb all produced output.

The balance of evaluations of finished stocks has increased (i.e. changed for the worse) and has reached + 20 points. Such a considerable excess of finished stocks has not been observed over the last two years. However, two circumstances have helped to sugar coat the pill somewhat. First, the increase in the balance occurred at the expense of a decline in the share of responses the finished stocks are below the norm, while the share of responses above the norm has not changed. And, second, there increased the share of enterprises evaluating their finished stocks as normal. The value of this indicator made 61 per cent, what is the historical maximum. The results of surveys indicate that already for two years running the bulk (i.e. more than 50 per cent) of the Russian enterprises has been maintaining their finished stocks at the normal level refraining from both overstocking (as it was observed in the middle of 1990s) and minimization of finished stocks (as it was the case immediately after the default in 1999 and 2000).

Yet another indication of the aggravation of demand constraints has been the increase in the share of enterprises reporting that their capacities were in excess of demand for their products. In 2005, the value of this indicator increased by 5 points and in April reached 25 per cent, i.e. one fourth of Russian enterprises believed that their capacities were excessive. In October of 2004, there were registered only 20 per cent of such enterprises. Taking into account the enterprises reporting that their production capacities were insufficient, in the Russian industry there persists the overhang of excessive production capacities, which this year increased by 12 p. p. At the same time, in 2005 the evaluations of the redundant employment did not change. The share of enterprises reporting about redundant employment remained at the level registered in the 4th quarter of the last year and at present makes 12 per cent. However, since at this time more enterprises experience the shortage of employees (16 per cent in April of 2005), on the whole the Russian industry experiences a shortage of employees. This shortage may be explained by the absolute outflow of employees from enterprises and the persisting high expectations of a growth in demand.

In the beginning of the 2nd quarter of 2005, the economic standing of enterprises did not changed in spite of the mixed results observed in the beginning of the year. The overwhelming majority of enterprises (not less than 70 per cent over the last four quarters) evaluate their standing as satisfactory.

Among the rest of enterprises there prevail responses indicating their standing as grave; however, in April of 2005 the respective share of responses declined and made 14 per cent, what is the minimum of the whole period of monitoring.

Of course, before the May holidays the forecasts of changes in demand have somewhat deteriorated, although not so much as a year ago. Meanwhile, the adjustment for the seasonal factor demonstrated that in April the confidence of forecasts even increased and reached the values not registered since October of year 2000. A similar situation is observed as concerns the production plans of enterprises.

A slight decline in confidence of such plans disappeared after the exclusion of the seasonal factor, and the respective result turned out to be the best among all 155 surveys.

The forecasts of changes in profits maintain positive values for the third month running both in the Russian industry at large and across the majority of individual industries. However, at the same time the forecasts indicate a lesser degree of confidence.

S. Tsukhlo Oil and Gas Sector The world oil prices are extremely high. Exporting oil and oil products from Russia reached its historic maximum. At the same time, in 2005 the oil production growth rates in Russia fell away sharply.

The situation on the world oil market makes possible to maintain in the near term the high level of world oil prices and favorable external conditions for forming the revenue side of the state budget and developing the oil and gas sector.

Prices on the world oil market exert a determining influence on the state of the oil and gas sector of Russian economy. In the first months of 2005 the world oil prices were at an extra high level, and in March reached all-time high in nominal terms. This could be explained by high growth rates of the world economy, in particular, Chinas economy, low level of idle oil production capacities, and also growing production costs as a result of field depletion in many traditional regions of oil production, the higher cost of services and materials. Actually, OPEC refused to maintain the world oil prices within the targeted pricing rate USD 22-28 a barrel, set earlier by this organization, and, in fact, pursued recently restrictive policy as far as oil production is concerned. At the March (2005) OPEC conference it had been announced on rising in 500 thousand. barrel a day of oil production by OPEC member countries. In practice, its only Saudi Arabia that has now considerable idle production capacities for apparent increase of the production. As a consequence, in March 2005, Brent crude reached USD 52.9 a barrel, while Russian Urals USD 48.1 a barrel. The average price of OPEC oil basket in the first quarter of 2005 considerable exceeded the targeted pricing marginal rate, set by the organization, and amounted, on average, USD 43.7 a barrel. In the first quarter of 2005, the average price of Russian Urals on the world (European) market made USD 43.1 a barrel, or was by 48,9% higher than the level of relevant period of previous year (Table 1).

Table World Oil Prices in 2002-2005, $/barrel 2002 2003 2004 2004 2005 2005 4 qu. January February March Brent oil price, Great 25.02 28.83 38.21 44.0 44.23 45.37 52.Britain Urals oil price, Russia 23.73 27.04 34.45 38.6 40.22 40.93 48.Price of OPEC oil 24.34 28.13 36.05 40.0 40.24 41.68 49.basket OPEC oil basket Source: OECD International Energy Agency, OPEC.

The development of the oil and gas sector of economy of Russia in the first quarter of 2005 was characterized by maintaining the growth trend of oil and oil products production existing in 20002004. At the same time the oil production growth rates sharply declined in 2005. In 2004, as compared to previous year, An increase in the volume of oil production, including gas condensate, made up in the first quarter of 2005, as compared to relevant period of last year, only 3,6%, while in 2002-2004 an increase in production reached 8,9-11% a year (Table 2). The growth of natural gas production (that started in 2002) continued, which amounted in the first quarter of 2005 1,7%, compared with the same period of previous year. In the first quarter of 2005 the volume of primary oil refining increased by 3,9%, while the refining intensity rate made up 70,2% (in the first quarter of 2004 - 70,0%).

In 2004, a noticeable rise in prices of oil and oil products, that had been observed in the domestic market, which largely could be explained by growth of world prices and expansion of oil export possibilities in the first months of 2005, changed by their decline. In March, the producers prices for oil and oil products somewhat advanced, but still remained lower than the level of the end of 2004. The price of automobile fuel, for example, which reached its height in November 2004 (USD 353.9/t), amounted to USD 289.4//t in March. Over the last few months, gas prices noticeably exceeded those existed before the devaluation period, and reached in March USD 12.2 per 1 thou. cub. m (Table 3, Fig. 1, 2).

Table Production of Oil, Oil Products and Natural Gas in 2000-2005, in % to relevant period of previous year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 I quarter Oil, including gas condensate 106,0 107,7 109,0 111,0 108,9 103,Primary oil refining 102,7 103,2 103,3 102,7 102,6 103,Automobile fuel 103,6 100,6 104,9 101,2 103,8 106,Diesel fuel 104,9 102,0 104,7 102,0 102,7 105,Fuel oil 98,3 104,2 107,1 100,3 97,8 103,Natural gas, billion cub. m. 98,5 99,2 101,9 103,4 101,6 101,Source: Federal State Statistics Service.

Table Domestic Prices of Oil, Oil Products and Natural Gas in 2002-2005, (average producers prices, $/t) 2002 2003 2004 2004 2005 2005 Decem- Decem- Novem- Decem- January February March ber ber ber ber Oil 60.7 70.1 121.2 123.5 104.8 101.3 121.Automobile fuel 168.8 236.9 353.9 333.1 255.3 275.4 289.Diesel fuel 153.8 214.3 359.1 364.3 342.3 347.6 350.Fuel oil 66.1 66.0 79.7 69.4 57.8 68.6 75.Gas, $/ thou. cub.m 5.9 4.4 10.2 10.5 11.0 12.1 12.Source: calculated according to the data of the Federal State Statistics Service.

Table Production to Consumption and Exports of Energy Resources ratio in 2000-2000 2001 2002 2003 Oil, million tons Production 323.2 348.1 379.6 421.4 458.Exports, in all 144.5 159.7 187.5 223.5 257.Exporting to non-CIS countries 127.6 137.1 154.8 186.4 217.Exporting to CIS countries 16.9 22.7 32.7 37.1 40.Net export 138.7 154.7 181.3 213.4 253.Domestic consumption 123.0 122.9 123.5 129.8 124.Net export, in % to production 42.9 44.4 47.8 50.6 55.Oil products, million tons Exports, in all 61.9 70.8 75.0 78.4 82.Exporting to non-CIS countries 58.4 68.3 72.5 74.9 78.Exporting to CIS countries 3.5 2.5 2.6 3.5 4.Net export 61.5 70.5 74.8 78.2 81.Oil and oil products, million tons Net export of oil and oil products 200.2 225.2 256.1 291.6 334.Net export of oil and oil products, in % to oil 61.9 64.7 67.5 69.2 72.production Natural gas, billion cub. m.

Net export, in % to production 32.5 30.4 30.0 29.1 30.Source: Federal State Statistics Service, the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Russia, The Federal Customs Service, authors calculations.

As an analysis of the dynamics of Russian oil exports shows, the total net oil and oil products exports reached their all-time high in 2004, that is for the first time exceeded the level of 1988, which characterized by peak values of oil exports. The proportion of oil and oil products net exports in oil production amounted to 72,9%, with the net oil exports to exceed 55% of its production. The proportion of net exports in the production of gas amounted to 30,3% (Table 4). In 2004, the total oil and oil products exports reached 339,5 million tons. As before, crude oil exports, which account for threequarters of overall oil and oil products exports, are prevailing in the structure of oil exports. In the export of oil products major part falls on fuel oil, used in Europe as crude material for further processing. Major part of energy resources (84% oil, 95% oil products and 72,5% gas) is exported outside of CIS.

The data given demonstrate strengthening of export orientation of the oil and gas sector as compared to the period before the reforms, but it should be born in mind that it can be explained not only by increasing of absolute volumes of export, but also with considerable reduction of the domestic oil and gas consumption.

The high level of world oil prices determined considerable growth of gains in the oil sector of economy. The total income from exports of oil and major types of oil products (automobile fuel, diesel fuel, and fuel oil) reached in 2004 USD 74.6 bn, which is a record level for all the period of reforms.

For comparison, one may note that the minimum level of revenues from oil exports was observed in the conditions of fall of the world oil prices in 1998, when export earnings in the industry made up only USD 14 bn. Therefore, revenues from oil exports in 2004 by 45,9% exceeded the level of previous year and more than five times the level of 1998 crisis year (Table 5). In January-February 2005, the crude oil exports in value terms amounted to USD 9.2 bn, which by 37,9% exceeded the level of the relevant period of previous year (in growing of the export volume of oil at the time of only by 1,8%). The proportion of oil exports in the total volume of Russian exports in January-February amounted 30,6%.

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