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March June July August Oil 37,0 54,9 49,9 39,4 49,4 57,0 61,Motor gasoline 171,9 199,3 151,5 113,2 166,7 180,6 185,Diesel fuel 125,0 185,0 158,5 119,3 171,4 167,4 159,Furnace fuel oil 46,1 79,7 47,1 33,8 75,9 75,9 74,Natural gas, US $ / 2,2 3,1 4,8 6,3 6,3 6,1 6,thos. c. m.

Source: calculated on the basis of RF Goskomstat data.

In spite of the fact that in the 1st quarter of 2002 the oil exports were limited due to Russias obligations to decrease oil supplies on the world market in order to support the OPEC measures aimed at the restoration of a world oil price level acceptable for oil producing countries, on the whole, in the first half-year of 2002 oil and oil products exports increased by 14.3 % in comparison with the figures registered in the first six months of 2001 (see Table 3). In the first half-year of 2002, the share of exports in commodity resources of diesel fuel made 53.9 %, furnace fuel oil 45.0 %, motor gasoline 13.3 %. However, the growth of exports in physical terms could not compensate for the decline in world oil prices, which occurred in the beginning of this year. In the first six months of 2002, the amount of oil exports made 95.4 % in comparison with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year. In the first half-year of 2002, the aggregate value of export of oil and base oil products made US $ 15.9 billion, what was by 6.0 % below the level registered in the first six months of the preceding year. The import of oil products also significantly contracted. For instance, in the first half-year of 2002, imports of motor gasoline made only 18.5 % of the level registered in the respective period of the preceding year, while the specific weight of imports in the gasoline resources fell from 0.6 % in the first six months of 2001 to 0.1 % this year.

Table Export of oil, oil products, and natural gas from Russia, in % of the respective period of the preceding year 2001 first half-year first half-year Oil, total 109,2 114,including:

Export to non-CIS countries 107,2 106,Export to CIS countries 125,2 164, Oil products, total 101,5 114,Including:

Export to non-CIS countries 103,5 115,Export to CIS countries 67,4 95,Natural gas, total 87,0 104,Source: RF Goskomstat.

As a result of the restrictions on oil extraction and exports introduced by OPEC member countries and some countries outside this organization, world oil prices have increased and made US $ 22 to 24 per barrel by the end of the 1st quarter, and in April through July stabilized at US $ 24 to 25 per barrel, i.e. were close to the middle of the price band (US $ 22 to 28 per barrel) supported by OPEC (see Table 4). In August, due to a decrease in world oil production, first of all in Iraq and at the North Sea oil deposits, world oil prices began to grow. In September, they were at US $ 27 to 29 per barrel.

Table World oil prices in 1999 through 2002, US $ per barrel 1999 2000 2001 2001 2002 2002 2002 1 quart 2 quart 4 quart July August Brent, UK 17,97 28,50 24,44 19,42 21,09 25,07 25,81 26,Urals, Russia 17,30 26,63 22,97 18,78 19,72 23,60 24,83 25,OPEC oil basket 17,47 27,60 23,12 18,33 19,92 24,42 25,15 25,Source: OECD International Energy Agency.

At the OPEC conference of September 19, 2002, the member countries decided to maintain oil quotas introduced on January 1, 2002. Both the decision of OPEC to maintain the agreed volumes of oil extraction and the recovery observed in large industrially developed economies allow to expect that oil prices will remain at a rather high level in the short term. According to the last base forecast (September, 2002) of the US Department of Energy, world oil prices defined as the average US oil import price will make about US $ 26.0 per barrel in the 4th quarter of 2002, and US $ 26.9 per barrel in 2003 (see Table 5). In the case this forecast is correct, it would mean the persistence of rather favorable external conditions for the Russias oil industry and the national economy on the whole.

Table World oil prices in 1999 through 1999 2000 2001 2002 (estimate) (forecast) US import oil price, US $ / barrel 17,22 27,72 22,01 23,64 26,Source: U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration.

FIG. 1. Average wholesale producer prices of oil and natural gas in US $ in 1992 through 2002, US $ per metric ton, US $ per thousand c. m.

70 Oil Natural Gas (right ax is)) 0 Fig. 2. Average wholesale producer prices of gasoline and furnace fuel oil in US $ in 1992 through 2002, US $ per metric ton gasoline furnace fuel oil Yu. Bobylev Foreign Trade.

In July of 2002, the Russias foreign trade turnover was at its maximum (US $ 14.2 billion) in the last months. As compared with July figures, it grew by 14.2 %. Exports increased by 12.6 % (US $ 9.1 billion), imports by US $ 3.7 billion, this figure being below the respective last year indicator by 5.1 %.

Figure 1. Main indicators of Russias foreign trade (in US $ bln.) -1997 . 1998 . 1999 . 2000 . 2001 . 2002 .

Balance Export Import Source: RF Goskomstat In July, the average BRENT price made US $ 25.7 per barrel, what is by 4.5 % above the level registered in the respective period of the preceding year.

The world market of non-ferrous metals demonstrated certain indications of intensifying business activity.

There continued growth in prices of hot and cold rolled steel in rolls increased, especially, on the American market. The prices of hot and cold rolled steel exported from EU member countries in third countries increased by US $ 10 in comparison with the level registered in June and at the end of the month made US $ 270 to 290 and US $ 310 to 340 per metric ton, while prices of reinforcing and commercial steel did not change (US $ 200 to 230 and US $ 215 to 250 per metric ton respectively).

On the majority of key markets of non-ferrous metals, prices fluctuated insignificantly in July of 2002.

Table The average monthly world prices in July of the respective year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Oil (Brent), USD / metric ton 20,66 18,25 12,96 18,8 28,4 24,62 25,Natural gas, USD / thous. m3 - 2,121 1,983 2,363 4,01 3,15 2,Gasoline, USD / metric ton 0,6338 0,5941 0,4234 0,6002 0,935 0,732 0,Copper, USD / metric ton 1935,9 2481,7 1754,3 1744,8 1864,2 1541,4 Aluminum, USD / metric ton 1455,4 1563,7 1377,7 1403,5 1565,9 1412,2 1338,Nickel, USD / metric ton 7350 6737,3 4620 5273 8202,0 5956,8 7143,Source: calculated in accordance to the data presented by London Metal Exchange (UK), International Oil Exchange (London) According to the monitoring data, the average price of URALS oil made US $ 25.25 per barrel, or US $ 184.35 per metric ton in July and August of 2002. In this connection, since October 1, 2002, export customs duties on crude oil will be raised from US $ 21.9 per metric ton to US $ 26.2 per metric ton.

In September of 2002, the government commission on protective measures in foreign trade and customs and tariff policy abolished export customs duties on 432 items exported from the RF in small quantities.

Respective customs duty revenues were slightly below US $ 5 million. At the same time, these goods made 50 % of the total list of products subject to export duties. Therefore, the government adheres to its declared principle to decrease customs duties and simplify the customs regime.

At the same time, measures aimed at the protection of domestic producers are being implemented. The special duty on the import of starch syrup was prolonged and shall be in force for next 30 months. Until now, these imports were subject to a 16 % duty (not less than Euro 0.07 per kilogram). The new duty shall be at 15.75 %, but not less than Euro 0.069 per kilogram. It was also decided to decrease the duty rate by 0.25 % each year to bring it down to 14.5 % by January 1, 2005.

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There was initiated an investigation concerning the increasing import of wall paper. Domestic producers could considerably consolidate their positions on the domestic market after the Ruble devaluation in 1998, when the growth of prices of imported products rendered them not competitive. However, foreign producers, especially from Germany, gradually increase their presence on the Russias market. Another factor behind this development is the fact that in other countries wall paper is increasingly replaced by other decorating materials. Therefore, the Russian market attracts more and more foreign producers of wall paper. Besides, the Russian market is also important for producers from CIS countries, especially from Ukraine and Byelorussia. The CIS producers of wall paper can successfully compete with Russian producers in terms of prices.

In 2001, the amount of RF import of wall paper increased 2.8 times as compared with figures registered in 2000 (a more than fourfold growth in comparison with 1999 figures). The share of imports in the total amount of sales of wall paper on the Russian market increased from 32.7 % in 1999 to 64.3 % in 2001, the rate of growth in import of wall paper over this period made 435.6 %.

The annual increase in the rates of growth of the import of wall paper was accompanied by increasing consumption of such goods in the Russian Federation. In 1999 through 2001, the amount of sales of wall paper on the domestic market increased by 121.5 %. However, in spite of growing output of wall paper at Russias enterprises, their share in the total sales of these products declined from 67.3 % in 1999 to 35.7 % in 2001, what was an evidence that Russia-made wall paper is squeezed out of the domestic market.

According to statistics, Russias trade vis--vis CIS countries made US $ 2.52 billion in July of 2002. The amount of exports increased by 30.2 % as compared with the figures registered in the respective period of the preceding year and made US $ 1.42 billion, while the amount of imports grew by 13.1 % and made US $ 1.10 billion.

In July of 2002, the share of products of the fuel and energy complex made over 40 % of the total exports in these countries. Export of crude oil and motor gasoline in CIS countries increased in comparison with the figures observed in the respective period of the past year. At the same time, imports from CIS countries increased in terms of sunflower oil, corn, and leather footwear.

Among neighboring countries, Byelorussian and Ukraine, as usual, were main Russias trading partners in July of 2002. Their share of the total Russias foreign trade was at about 13 %.

In September, the Russian and Ukrainian prime ministers reached an agreement aimed to remove excessive fiscal barriers in the bilateral trade. Ukraine has abolished special duties on the import of a number of Russia made goods, including a 20 % duty on motor vehicles introduced this March as a response to the restrictions on imports of Ukrainian ferrous pipes on the Russian market.

In September, the Council of the Heads of Customs of the CIS member countries discussed the issue of more broad cooperation of customs offices. Among other subjects, there was reviewed the package of measures aimed at the simplification of customs control and registration of goods transferred by citizens across borders between CIS member countries.

Special attention was paid to the problem of unification of the custom legislation in Russia and Byelorussia. Although the drafting of the Customs Codes of two countries is close to completion, there remain considerable discrepancies with regard to rates of customs duties on certain goods.

Also in September, the Council of the Heads of Customs of the Eurasian Economic Community member countries discussed such issues as the adjustment of trade exemptions, the formation of a common customs tariff and indirect taxes, a mechanism protecting internal markets in the situation preventing the use of special protective, anti-dumping, and countervailing measures.

N. Volovik N. Leonova

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