Сальдо Экспорт Импорт Balance Export Import Source: RF Goskomstat The business situation on the world markets most important for Russia was the following.
In June, the average world price of URALS oil made US $ 23.0 per barrel, i.e. the price grew by 25.7 % in comparison with figures observed in January. However, the average monthly price of URALS in the first six months of this year made US $ 21.6 per barrel, what was by 12.2 % below the level registered in the respective period of 2001. The average BRENT price made US $ 23.0 per barrel (a 13.5 % decrease).
The average prices of non-ferrous metals remained below the respective indicators registered in 2001. For instance, in January through July of 2002, the average monthly price of aluminum made US $ 1368.5 per Май Май Май Май Май Май Янв.
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metric ton, what is by 11 % below the respective level registered in 2001. Nickel (US $ 6577 per metric ton) and copper (US $ 1584.2 per metric ton) prices also decreased (by 0.6 % and 7.2 % respectively).
Table The average monthly world prices in June of the respective year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Oil (Brent), USD / metric ton 130,7 133,1 100,7 116,4 214,1 197,6 179,Natural gas, USD / thous. m3 - 76,3 77,1 84,2 151,6 132,3 116,Gasoline, USD / metric ton 157,3 157,6 128,3 173,4 346,5 292,9 273,Copper, USD / metric ton 2202 2543 1665 1552,1 1752,0 1615,3 1686,Aluminum, USD / metric ton 1490 1575 1316 1327,3 1510,2 1467,7 1354,Nickel, USD / metric ton 7153,8 7054,6 4540 5241 8384,3 6629,2 7110,Source: calculated in accordance to the data presented by London Metal Exchange (UK) As before, the structure of Russia’s exports to countries outside NIS is dominated by fuel and energy resources (56.1 %). In January through June of 2002, oil exports from Russia made 90.886 million metric tons, what is by 15 % above the respective indicator registered in the preceding year. At the same time, forex-denominated proceeds in the first six months of the year decreased by 6 % (by US $ 801 million) and made US $ 12.396 billion. The largest volumes of raw materials were exported to Germany (10.5 million metric tons), Italy (9.3 million metric tons), and the Netherlands (8.65 million metric tons).
Metals and metal articles (15.6 % of the exports) are ranked second. The amount of Russian exports of copper decreased by 21.4 % and raw aluminum – by 6.6 % in the first six months of 2002. Export of copper made US $ 315.1 million (231.1 thousand metric tons). Countries outside NIS accounted for the major share of exports: 227.8 thousand metric tons worth US $ 310 million. The copper prices decreased by 14.6 % down to US $ 1.36 thousand per metric ton. The amount of aluminum exports made US $ 1.5 billion (1.44 million metric tons). The price of aluminum decreased by 24.6 % down to US $ 1.04 thousand per metric ton.
The specific weight of machinery in exports to countries outside NIS makes 8 %, chemical products – 6.%, wood, pulp and paper products – 5.4 %.
The high activity based on expanding internal (primarily consumer) demand persists in imports. A factor behind a slight deceleration of the rate of growth in imports in comparison with figures registered in was a rather high saturation of the Russian market. The specific weight of imported products in the retailers’ stocks made 50 % in the 1st quarter of this year and continues to grow.
In the first six months of 2002, the volumes of import were almost 1.5 times above the level registered in January through June of 1998, i.e. were significantly above the pre-crisis maximum.
The staple imports from countries outside NIS are machinery, equipment, and trasport vehicles. Their share in the total import increased up to 37.3 % as compared with 34.3 % registered in the first six months of the preceding year. The share of foodstuffs and raw agricultural produce in the total import made 26.2 % (a 0.5 p.p. increase in comparison with the indicators observed in the respective period of the preceding year).
In June, the turnover of Russia’s trade vis--vis CIS countries made US $ 2.27 billion (exports made US $ 1.29 billion decreasing by 11.7 % in comparison with the figures registered in June of 2001, while imports fell by 31.5 % and made US $ 0.98 billion). Imports from countries of Central Asia (Tadzhikistan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan) fell most dramatically. The decline in imports is primarily related to the decrease in import of foodstuffs and ferrous metals. It is highly probable that import of some traditional staples (for instance, Ukrainian pipes) will decrease even further, since the special decision of the RF government has recently introduced a special compensatory duty on pipes imported from Ukraine (21 % of the customs value for three years).
In August, Russia and Ukraine held talks on the problems of tariff restrictions in the bilateral trade. In the autumn, it is planned to introduce quotas with regard to metallurgic products, for instance, galvanized steel and rods made of ferrous metals. Quotes shall be introduced in stead of respective tariff restrictions.
In the course of negotiations, special attention was paid to the problems of lifting restrictions on import of Russian motor vehicles introduced on August 1, 2002, as a temporary 32 % duty.
Besides, the parties are planning to lift the restrictions on trade in pipes and a number of Russian goods.
Russia made the commitment to abolish the quotation of Ukrainian pipes, while Ukraine promised to lift restrictions on import of 19 groups of Russian goods.
In August, Moscow hosted the trilateral talks of Kazakh, Russian, and Byelorussian ministers for economy with regard to the cooperation of member states of the Eurasian Economic Community (EvrAzES) in the course of accession to WTO. At the moment, out of five EvrAzES member countries only Kirgizia is a member of WTO.
Late in August, the government at last finalized its decision concerning customs duties on import of cars manufactured seven and more years ago. This document was elaborated in the framework of the concept of development of the domestic motor vehicle industry. Cars manufactured seven and more years ago shall be subject to the following duty: 2 Euro per 1 cubic cm of motor capacity for cars with motors below 2.thousand cubic cm and 3 Euro per 1 cubic cm of motor capacity for cars with motors above 2.5 thousand cubic cm (as compared to previously effective duties of 0.85 and 1.4 Euro respectively).
The government decided not to rise duties on new cars (defined as manufactured three years ago and newer ones). The duties remained at 25 %. This decision is most probably related to the fact that newer cars make only 7 % of the total amount of imported cars.
The most important news was that duties on cars manufactured 3 to 7 years ago remained without change (0.85 Euro per 1 cubic cm of motor capacity for cars with motors below 2.5 thousand cubic cm and 1.4 Euro per 1 cubic cm of motor capacity for cars with motors above 2.5 thousand cubic cm), although all preceding drafts envisaged a slight increase in the duties on such cars.
The Russian government introduced a special duty on imported butter (5 % of the import customs duty, but not less than 0.07 Euro per 1 kilogram). The duty shall be in effect until December 31, 2002.
Byelorussian producers are exempted from this duty. At the same time, Byelorussian butter is subject to the special duty in the case it is manufactured specifically for sale in Byelorussia and is free of a special duty or the amount of this special duty is not transferred to the federal budget according to the prescribed procedure.
The major exporters of butter to Russia are Ukraine (36 % of imports), Byelorussia (20 %), New Zealand (14.6 %), and Finland (11.1 %).
The Russian government took yet another important decision in August. The government abolished export duties on silver. This measure will probably result in an increase in silver exports and a growth in the number of market operators. A recent abolishment of export duties on gold has brought about similar results.
According to the Gold Producers’ Association, in 2001, 646 metric tons of silver were produced in Russia, of which 462 metric tons were exported. At the same time, the export duty was collected only from 61 metric tons, since the rest silver exports were carried out via Byelorussia and Kazakhstan – members of the Customs Union. Therefore, 90 % of silver exports from Russia were exempted of the duty. At present, the surveyed resources of silver in Russia significantly exceeds the deposits in other countries of the world. The total share of surveyed resources in the largest producers of this metal (USA, Canada, Mexico, and Australia) makes 40 %, significantly below Russia. The demand for silver on the world market is constantly growing, however, the prices of silver decrease for several years running.
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