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S. V. Tsukhlo Foreign Trade Under the influence of favorable state of affairs on the world market one can observe growing of volumes of Russian exports. The ruble strengthening boosts increase in import deliveries. Thus, as before, the growth rates of the Russian Foreign trade turnover remain very high.

The Russian government reconsiders its customs policy. To modernize the economy, the import customs duties for foreign equipment will be considerably lowered or cancelled. On the other hand, the government promises to protect those Russian producers who are able to compete with foreign ones.

In February 2006, the Russias foreign trade turnover, calculated according to the payment of balance methodology, made up USD 32.3 bn, which is greater by 28.7% in comparison with February 2005. The exports made up USD 22.1 bn (growth by 36.6%), imports USD 10.2 bn (growth by 19.8%). As compared to January of 2006 the Russias foreign trade turnover grew by 9.1%, the export of goods 5.7%, import 17.2%.

In February of 2006, the Russias foreign trade surplus made up USD 11.9 bn, which is by 2.5% lower than the value of January this year and by 33.7% greater than the respective indicator of February 2005.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Balance Export Import Source: RF CB Figure 1. Main indices of Russias foreign trade (as USD bn) In February 2006, the export to countries outside CIS made up USD 18.97 bn, which is by 35.3% greater than a year before. The main growth factor for Russian exporters remains a favorable state of affairs on the world market.

According to the Bank of Russia, in February 2006 vis--vis the prior month the world prices with account of the structure of Russias exports as aggregated by goods, including roughly 70 per cent of its cost, lowered on average by 1.6%. In January-February 2006, as compared to the respective period of 2005 they were higher by 36%.

In February 2006, the prices predominantly lowered on the world oil market, which to a large extent was caused by growth of reserves of oil and gasoline in the U.S. storages. However, in the middle of February they began to grow again. This was caused by aggravation of the situation in Nigeria, as well as expectations of contraction of oil production by OPEC countries, caused by a forecast of slowing of growth of the world oil consumption. These expectations became enforced by statement of the energy minister of Venezuela who offered to reduce in the 2d quarter the oil production quotas by 0.5-1 million barrels per day.

In February 2006 vis--vis the prior month, the average oil price of Brent, Dubaiskaya and Zapadnotekhasskaya decreased by 4.4% (up to US $ 59.7 per barrel), Urals oil price by 4.9% (up to US $ 56.3 per barrel). In January-February 2006 vis--vis the respective period of 2005, the oil prices were higher on average by 39.7% and 42.7% respectively.

In February 2006 vis--vis the prior month, the prices for oil products were on average unchanged, the price of diesel fuel decreased by 1.7%, gasoline by 6.2%, the price of fuel oil increased by 4.3%. In January-February 2006 vis--vis the respective period of 2005, the prices for oil products were on average higher by 47% (gasoline price increased by 35%, diesel fuel 33%, fuel oil by 78%).

In February 2006 vis--vis the prior month, the prices for natural gas in Europe practically did not change, in the U.S. they decreased by 13.5%. In January-February 2006 vis--vis the respective period of 2005, the natural gas in Europe increased by 45%, in the U.S. by 31%.

In February 2006 vis--vis the prior month, the world prices for the products of Russian fuel and energy complex lowered on average by 2.4%, in January-February 2006 vis--vis the respective period of 2005, they were higher by 42%.

Jul Jul Jul Jul Jul Jul Okt Okt Okt Okt Okt Okt Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr Apr In February 2006, the prices for aluminum, copper and nickel continued to rise under the influence of high industrial and investment demand for these metals on the world market. In February 2006 vis-vis the prior month, the aluminum price increased by 3.3%, copper by 5.2%, nickel by 2,9%.

In January-February 2006 vis--vis the respective period of 2005, the prices for non-ferrous metals were higher on average by 18.5% (copper was higher by 51.5%, aluminum by 30%, nickel lowered by 1.5%).

1.

The average monthly world prices in February of the respective year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Oil (Brent), USD/ barrel 17.3 21.4 15.0 10.8 26.9 27.2 20.3 32.1 30.9 44.8 59.Natural gas, USD/mln BTU - 2.204 1.994 2.036 2.828 5.642 2.260 6.367 5.407 6.242 8.Gasoline, USD/gallon 0.539 0.652 0.508 0.524 0.934 0.882 0.616 1.045 1.045 1.37 1.Copper, USD / metric ton 2552.9 2392.0 1673.3 1414.8 1779.1 1811.4 1601.5 1705.9 2759.0 3254 Aluminum, 1428.USD / metric ton 1597.8 1567.7 1479 1188.1 1584.2 1602.1 1370.8 4 1685.6 1883 Nickel, 10269. 8619.6 15178.

USD / metric ton 8091,5 7670.8 5462.2 4629.4 6 6544.6 6042.7 4 3 15350 Source: calculated in accordance with the data presented by London Metal Exchange (UK), International Oil Exchange (London) According to the data of the customs statistics, the share of products of the fuel and energy complex in the structure of Russian exports in the countries outside CIS grew in January-February 2006 by 8.percentage points up to 72.7%, while in January-February 2005, this indicator made up 64%. The share of export of metals and products from them made up over the two months of the current year 12.1% vs. 17.6% over the respective period of 2005. The share of chemical industry products fell from 6.4% up to 5.2%. The share of machinery and equipment decreased insignificantly - from 3.2% to 3.0%. The share of timber and paper and pulp products decreased from 3.9% to 2.9%.

In January-February 2006, the sale proceeds of Russian oil exporters grew by 60.5% up to US $ 13.96 bn from US $ 8.7 bn over the respective period of 2005. The volume of Russian oil export deliveries over the two months of the current year made up 35.519 mil. tons, which is by 3.4% more vis-vis the respective period of the prior year. In January-February, the share of oil exports in the total volume of Russian export made up 35%, in the export of fuel and energy goods 49.6%. In JanuaryFebruary 2005, such indicators made up 30.7% and 49.1%, respectfully.

Over the first two months of 2006 the volume of export deliveries of oil products increased by 14.8% up to 15.28 mil. tons from 13.3 mil. tons in the prior year. The volume of exports in money terms grew by 66.8% and reached US $ 5.95 bn. To the markets of the countries outside CIS there were supplied 14.74 mil. tons oil products for US $ 5.71 bn vs. US $ 12.79 mil. tons for US $ 3.over the respective period of the prior year.

In January-February 2006, the export of gas from Russia increased by 5% up to 35.9 bcm from 34.bcm over the respective period of 2004. The sale proceeds of gas exporters over the reporting period increased by 62.5% from US $ 4.93 up to US $ 8.017 bn. In January-February, the export gas deliveries from the RF to countries outside CIS grew by 7% - from 30.6 to 28.6 bcm. As compared to January-February 2005, the volume of gas deliveries to CIS countries decreased by 5.4% and made up 5.bcm.

The ruble strengthening continues to affect positively the growth of Russian imports. According to the RF Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the real ruble-to-dollar strengthening over February made up 2.3%, to euro - 3%, the real effective exchange rate 2.4%. Overall, over JanuaryFebruary the ruble-to-dollar strengthening in real terms is estimated at 5.3%, to euro 5.5%, the real effective exchange rate 4.9%.

In February 2006, imports in the RF from the countries outside CIS made up US $ 8.5 bn, which is by 22% greater than in February 2005. The growth of import can be explained primarily by increase in the volumes of imported goods.

In the commodity structure of imports from the countries outside CIS the share of foodstuffs and material for their production made up 16.6% (18.5%), chemical industry products 18.3% (18.2). vis -vis the respective period of 2005 the share of machinery and equipment increased by 2.5 percentage points up to 47%.

In April 2006, the Russian government approved The guidelines of customs policy for 2007 2009, under which there all customs rates are planned to be reconsidered. First and foremost, the import tariffs for importation of high-tech equipment will be reduced or cancelled.

At present decisions on correction and abolition of duties have been taken on a wide list of equipment roughly 750 items. Since April 29, the RF Government Resolution # 168 of March 24, (which provides for zeroing of duties) will come into force. The period of validity of such duties is months. However, most probably, such a period will be extended or the duties zero rates will be introduced on a regular basis. The decision on temporary introduction of duties is explained by the fact that within the frame of EurAsEC we should agree decisions with our partners, in particular, with Byelorussia and Kazakhstan. As Byelorussia and Kazakhstan have already had zero rates, the question is only in agreeing the list.

Besides, establishing the time limits on duty zeroing is necessary for analysis of the efficiency of use of zero rates, identification and correction of possible errors. It is not impossible that the list may be slightly extended or, quite the contrary, be shortened.

Along with the long term trend towards ruble strengthening (in which case the goods in foreign currency become readily available), lowering the cost of equipment will create good conditions for modernization of Russian industry.

At present there are still about 400 items, the duties for which may be changed. However, the rates for some types of equipment remain high. This is electrical power equipment, turbines, bearings that is, all things that make domestic industry strong. Restrictions will embrace 1015% of the market.

To protect the domestic market, the government is going to control more clearly the customs value of goods. The lower it is, the higher will be the level of protective customs duties.

To protect the domestic manufactures of farm produce, the government is going to use more actively seasonal duties especially for gods with short storage life. In a wider scale it is planned to use non-tariff protection measures quotas, which are widely used abroad.

A number of offered measures are aimed to promote raw materials processing in the territory of Russia. The list of goods imposed by export duties will be gradually shortened. With time, the shortest list will be made that will comprise a primary commodity group - hydrocarbon material, raw timber, jewels and attires, as well as chemical industry goods.

In Autumn 2005, the Interdepartmental Commission for Protection Measures in Foreign Trade and the Customs and Tariff Policy approved a scheme of step-by-step increase of export duties for raw timber. In particular, since May 31, 2006 there will be an increase of the specific rate of export duty for round timber from EUR 2.5 to EUR 4 per 1 m3 on retention of ad valorem component at 6.5%. In the following it is planned to increase, since July 1, 2007, the export customs duties rates up to 10% of the customs value, but no less than EUR 6 for 1 m3 for some types of raw timber, including birch, except for birch and conifer pulpwood. All these measures were aimed to stimulate the wood technology in the territory of the RF and reduce the export of raw timber abroad.

In parallel with this, increase of the export duties for raw timber should be only one of elements of the scheme to change the structure of Russian timber export. The main objective is to enhance not the role of raw materials, but derived and finished products in this export. It is necessary to maximally stimulate the production of semi-finished and end products, such as parquet, paper, cardboard and other, and to slightly hold the export. As statistics shows, only about 40% of timber (permitted for cutover) is cut over in Russia. This means that the production of semi-finished and end products is slowed down not by a shortage of raw materials, but lack of economic incentives for the development of production a higher processing intensity rate.

N.Volovik Directions of Optimization of the Budgetary Financing of Science The review analyzes new initiatives of the government on optimization of the science budgetary financing. It considers the particularities of basic, program and grant financing of research and developments. Possible lines of optimization have been shown for every form of budgetary financing, which enable to raise the quality of allocation of resources, administration and monitoring, as well as correlate the basic budgetary financing with organizational changes that were made in the research complex.

One of the lines of reforming the research complex of the country, that was stated in recently approved Strategy of the RF in the field of science and innovation development for a period till 2015, is optimization of the budgetary financing of science and improvement of the mechanisms of allocation of budgetary funds. Since early 2006, the government focused its efforts mostly on two directions: (1) formation of a new federal program for financing R&D, which is to substitute the existing FTsNTP (federal target scientific and technological program) Research and Developments on Priority Lines of Development of Science and Engineering for 2002-2006; (2) optimization of budgetary financing in the government sector of science, namely, the development of sectoral system of payment of RAS researchers. Simultaneously, there was initiated inventorying the organizations and property of RAS institutes. However, it occurred without any relation to financial innovations.

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