RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES RUSSIAN INDUSTRIAL SECTOR IN DECEMBER S.Tsukhlo In the end of the year, the state of affairs in the Russian industrial sector unfolds under the impact of conflicting tendencies. The surveys run by the Gaidar Institute1 show that, on the one hand, the data on the dynamics of demand and output, less seasonality, hit regular post-crisis recordbreaking values, while the situation with employment has not aggravated (against expectations).
On the other hand, assessments of finished products inventories speak for corporations being uncertain about renewal of demand and still planning head cutting. The rise in loans availability rates discontinued.
Demand for Industrial Products The original data on the dynamic of demand remained unchanged in the end of the year, with the indicator’s growth rate (assessed by the difference between responses “growth”-“decline” remaining in the zero zone. So, in the five past months the proportion of responses on growth in sales across the industrial sector on the whole has been counterbalanced by the proportion of responses of their decline. Meanwhile, as in prior years the December growth rate would usually decline vs. the prior months, the formal methods of clearing from seasonality showed increase in the demand growth rates in December 2010. As a result, this indicator hit its crisis maximum and matched its pre-crisis values (Graph 1). The demand forecasts had Graph 1. Changes in Effective Demand Cleared plummeted prior to the January holidays of course, from Seasonality (Balance=% Growth -% Decline) but their clearing from seasonality equaled them to the forecasts of the prior months and held them at the crisis maximum.
An evident improvement of the dynamic of demand in December has not yet told on assessments of its volumes.
Satisfaction with demand remained at the level of the prior months (Graph 2). This is not bad, either, though, for the proportion of normal assessments in Q2 and Q3 was prone to strong oscillations, which evidenced corporations’ uncertainty about which sales volumes should be considered adequate to the current economic conditions. Presently, enterprises seem to have come to better appreciate the state of affairs. In Q4 it is metallurgical corporations that demonstrated the best adaptation to the situation (75% of them believe Graph 2. Dynamic of Main Assessments of demand is “normal”), followed by chemical (72%), foodEffective Demand processing and forestry enterprises (67% each).
1 The Gaidar Institute has run monthly surveys on corporate heads by the European harmonized methodology since September 1992. The surveys cover the whole territory of the Russian Federation. The panel’s size is some 1,corporations that employ over 15% of industrial labor. The panel is biased towards large corporations by each individual sub-sector, with the questionnaire return rate making up 65–70%.
RUSSIAN INDUSTRIAL SECTOR ON DECEMBER Finished Products Inventories That said, corporations retain a great deal of pessimism in their understanding of the “current situation”, which is evidenced by assessments of finished products inventories (Graph 3). In December, as far as deviations from the norm are concerned, they were back to visible prevalence of the “below norm” assessments, with the proportion of such responses currently standing at 17%, while the “above norm” responses made up just 9%. The latter rate became an absolute minimum one for the indicator in question over the whole 18 years of monitoring.
Corporations clearly do not wish to replenish their final products inventories in reliance to new customers and prefer holding the volume of their products at storages at a level far smaller than the one typical of the month. That is to say, the industrial sector has not yet gained solid ground to believe in renewal of the former sustained growth rates. The “below Graph 3. Dynamic of Finished Products norm” responses prevail in all the industries, bar the Inventories construction sector.
Industrial Output Judging by corporations’ original responses, the output growth rates have demonstrated a stunning stability in the 2nd half-year of 2010 by oscillating within the range between +13…+20 points since last May. Cleared from seasonality, the data on the dynamic of actual output demonstrate an increase in the production growth rate and the indicator hitting a new crisis maximum (Graph 4). Plans of output likewise retain a great optimism, albeit not a recordbreaking one in the context of the current crisis, but Graph 4. Changes in Output, less Seasonality fairly praiseworthy, nonetheless.
(Balance=% Growth - % Decline) Producer Prices Since the beginning of the last quarter 2010 the industrial sector has fundamentally changed its pricing policy and transited to a steady increase of producer prices. While in Q3 the balance of price changes was 6 points, in Q4 this indicator accounted for 17 points on average (Graph 5). It was the light and chemical industry branches that held leading positions in terms of intensity of price increases in the last three months 2010, while the construction sector was the only one to report reduction in prices.
Graph 5. Changes in Producer Prices The corporations’ December price plans changed (Balance=%Growth - % Decline) fundamentally, too. Like in the pre-crisis period, the industrial sector plans a considerable increase in prices in the first months of the new year, perhaps even to the detriment of sales volumes. It looks like the rise of the tax burden leaves enterprises with no other strategic options. There has been no such drastic revision of price plans in the Russian industrial sector since September 1998.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES Dynamic and Plans of Actual Lay-Offs Despite an explicit intent to downsize noted in the prior months, in the end of the year, the industrial sector basically held employment at the same level, with no sizeable hiring or mass layoffs (Graph 6).
In December, pessimism of the plans discontinued to surge. While in November it hit its annual (2010) peak (i.e. expectations of the most considerable layoffs were reported), in December the balance of the plans improved by 5 points, but remained negative, nonetheless: the industrial sector still expects head cutting. New job opportunities may continue to appear only in the non-ferrous metallurgy and the foodprocessing sector.
Graph 6. Changes in Employment In Q4 2010, estimates (not absolute values!) of (Balance=%Growth - % Decline) workers and specialists’ salaries hit the pre-crisis level. Currently as many as 59% of enterprise executives believe the level of their employees’ labor compensations is normal, while another 36% ones consider it to be “below norm”. An analogous ratio was noted in 2007 and in the early 2008. At the peak of the crisis the estimates traded places: at the time, 37% of enterprise heads consider their subordinates’ salaries to be normal, while another 59% of executives thought it was “below norm”.
Graph 7. Corporate Heads’ Assessments of Workers and Specialists’ Salaries Lending to the Industrial Sector The rise in availability of loans discontinued in the late 2010 (Graph 8). The proportion of normal estimates of the indicator in question in the 2nd halfyear stabilized at the level of 66%. So, in the conditions of the continuous uncertainty banks discontinued to soften their lending terms for the real sector.
This conclusion is also proved by the stabilization of the interest rate on Rb.-denominated loans at the level of 13% across the industrial sector as a whole.
Interestingly, the interest rate for SMEs was frozen at the level of 15.0-15.5% annualized, while that for large corporations – at the level of 11-12% annualized.
Graph 8. Proportion of Enterprises with Normal Loans Availability Rate FOREIGN TRADE FOREIGN TRADE N.Volovik, K.Kharina Fueled by a favorable state of affairs on the world markets and growth of the national economy, Russian foreign trade continued to restore its volume. The RF Government extended the moratorium on increase in timber duties and restored zeroed in 2009 export duties on copper and nickel, abolished duties on oil supplied to Belarus and made the planned step towards equalizing duties for dark and light oil products.
According to the World Bank’s preliminary data, the global economy posted a 3.9% growth in 2010. The World Bank experts suggest that the 2011 growth should make up 3.3%. It is envisaged that the emerging nations’ GDP would increase by 6%, while that of the developed nations – by meager 2.4%. China, as the largest emerging economy, should grow by 8.5%, or at 1.5 p. p. down vs.
the 2010 figures. In 2012, the global economy’s growth should accelerate up to 3.6%. The volume of global trade is envisaged to post a 8.3% growth in 2011 and 9.6% in 2012. This is far smaller a growth vs. the astounding 15.7% posted in 2010. In 2009, this indicator plummeted by 11%1.
In November 2010, Russia’s foreign trade turnover calculated by the balance-of-payments methodology was USD 59.8 bln. and was up by 0.5% vs the prior months and 19.1% vs. November 2009.
In November 2010, the volume of Russian export was USD 35.3 bln., or up by 1% vs. the prior months and 14.6% vs. November 2009. The growth in the value volume of the nation’s export was fueled by favorable prices for Russia’s exports on the global markets. More specifically, the average price for Urals in November 2010 was USD 84.39/bbl (+10.9%) vs. 76.11/bbl in October 2009. The averaged over the 11 months of the year price was USD 77.19/bbl, while between January and November 2009 it was 59.92/bbl. So, its year-on-year growth rate made up 29%.
According to the price monitoring data, between January 2010 and through 14 January 2011 the average price of Urals was USD 91.901/ bbl. So, in compliance with the effective law, since 1 February 2011 the export duty on oil will make up USD 346.645/t vs the January figure of USD 317.5/t. The duty on light oil products will be increased up to USD 232.2/t (USD 226.2/ t in January), while that for dark oil products – USD 161.8/t (USD 121.9/t). The preferential oil duty set for 24 domestic oil fields will be raised from USD 117.5/t in January to 137.6/t.
The duties on dark and light Source: the CBR oil products were calculated according to a new methodology Graph 1. Main Indicators of Russia’s Foreign Trade (as USD bln.) adopted by Resolution of the RF 1 http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES Government ¹155 of 27 December 2010. The document reads that since February 2011 duties on dark oil products should make up 46.7% of the oil duty, while on light ones – 67%.
According to the LME, in November 2010 copper, aluminum and nickel prices increased by 26.9%, 19.7% and 34.8%, respectively, on a one-year basis.
Table AVERAGE WORLD PRICES IN NOVEMBER OF RESPECTIVE YEARS 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Oil (Brent), 32.14 21.45 27.2 29.6 49.8 58.2 57.9 81.4 79.63 77.42 86.USD/bbl Natural gas, 5.767 2.649 4.144 5.162 7.7 12.2 12.76 7.47 6.824 5.215 4.USD/MMBTU Gasoline, 0.895 0.603 0.801 0.841 1.43 2.056 1.484 2.13 4.195 2.01 2.USD /gall Copper, SD/t 1838.6 1405.1 1519.0 1916.4 3012.0 4060 7500 8008 4925.7 6675.6 8469.Aluminum, 1473.5 1280.8 1313.2 1474.8 1822.8 1929 2659 2442 2121.4 1949.3 2333.USD/t Nickel, USD/t 7353.2 4836.8 6840.9 11030 14,483 12403 32348 30999 12140 16991 Source: calculated on the basis of the LME and IOE data (London).
According to FAO, in November 2010 the world prices for food stuffs hit their peak values since July 2008. The FAO index, whose calculation covers 55 kinds of food stuffs, had been rising for the fifth straight month by November 2010. The price rise was driven by prices for grain, sugar and oil, while the cost of meat remained unchanged vs. the prior month.
According to the CBR, between January and November 2010 Russian export posted a 32.9% growth (up to USD 357.7 bln.) on a one-year basis. It is fuel and energy commodities that still formed the bulk of the nation’s exports – during the period in question, their specific weight in the commodity structure of Russian exports accounted for 68.3% (vs. 66.7% reported for the period between January through November 2009).
Calculated upon the same one-year basis, Russia’s oil revenues in the 11 months of soared by 38.5% - from USD 83.5 bln. to 115.6 bln., while in physical equivalent the growth accounted for just 2.6% and made up 212.1 mln. t.
The proportion of export of machinery and equipment between January and November accounted for 5.4% (vs. 5.7% reported over the period between January and November 2009).
On a one-year basis, the value volume of export supplies of machinery and equipment soared by 2.3%. The physical volume of export of passenger cars rose by 7.4% thanks to a 18% surge in their supplies to the CIS countries against a 21.6% contraction of those to Far-Abroad countries.
A poor grain harvest in 2010 did not enable Russia to retain a decent position among major grain exporters – by results of the 2009/20010 agricultural year the country was in the group of Top Three leading wheat and flour exporters and among TOP Four barley suppliers, with export of grain and grain products forming over 40% of the nation’s agrarian and food export.
Because of a sharp price rise on the world market, the Government ruled to impose embargo on grain export, effective as of 15 August 2010. Its deadline was initially set for 31 December 2010 and was subsequently extended through 1 July 2011. Consequently, the share of export of food stuffs in the commodity structure of the nation’s export slid to 2.3% between January and November 2010 vs. 3% in January-November 2009, with the value volume of these exports plummeting by 9.8% on a one-year basis.
The volume of imports to RF in November 2010 accounted for USD 24.5 bln., or by 0.3% down vs. the prior month, but up by 26.3% vs. November 2009. Meanwhile, import supplies from the CIS countries surged by 34.3% and those from Far-Abroad countries – by 25.1%. Imports to Russia have been growing steadily through the whole year. Between January and November they soared by 30.2% vis-à-vis the same period of 2009 and accounted for USD 221.5 bln. A notable rise in imports should be ascribed primarily to the post-crisis renewal of Russia’s economy.