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In 2003, there was observed a significant growth in prices of oil and oil products occurring on the domestic market, what was primarily related to the enhancement of the potential of oil export (first of all, due to the expansion of the Baltic pipeline system). In December, the average domestic oil price (producers price) in dollar terms increased to US $ 70.1 per metric ton. The average motor gasoline price has reached US $ 236.per metric ton, what is the record high over the whole post reform period. At the same time, there persisted a significant gap between the levels of domestic and world oil prices: in 2003, this ratio was at or below 45 per cent to 50 per cent. In January and February, there was observed a rise in prices of oil and natural gas, while the domestic prices of oil products stabilized (see Table 3).

Table Domestic oil, oil products, and natural gas prices (in US $) in 1999 through (average wholesale prices of enterprises, US $ / metric ton) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Dec. Dec. Dec. Dec. Dec. Jan. Feb.

Oil 37,0 54,9 49,9 60,7 70,1 70,1 76,Motor gasoline 171,9 199,3 151,5 168,8 236,9 236,8 231,Diesel fuel 125,0 185,0 158,5 153,8 214,3 224,3 223,Furnace fuel oil 46,1 79,7 47,1 66,1 66,0 66,5 66,Gas, US $ / thos. c. 2,2 3,1 4,8 5,9 4,4 8,8 9,m.

Source: calculated on the basis of RF Goskomstat data.

In 2003, the oil exports increased by 17.8 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding year, while export of oil products grew by 3.6 per cent. The share of exports in commodity resources of diesel fuel made 56.2 per cent, furnace fuel oil 55.0 per cent, motor gasoline 13.2 per cent (memorandum: in 1999 the share of exports in the amount of motor gasoline output made only 7.2 per cent). In 2003, the amount of oil exports increased by 33.2 per cent as compared with the figures registered in the preceding year, what is 2 times above the growth in the volumes of oil exports.

The import of oil products increased as a result of the rise in domestic prices of oil products and real Ruble appreciation. On the whole, the import of oil products increased by 36.4 per cent in comparison with the figures observed in the preceding year. At the same time, imports of motor gasoline grew by 128 per cent, while the share of imports in the gasoline resources increased from 0.1 per cent to 0.3 per cent. However, the specific weight of imports remains rather low. For instance, in the first six months of 1998, i.e. before the Ruble devaluation, the specific weight of imports in the gasoline resources made 8.7 per cent.

At the same time, there was registered a decline in the rates of growth in natural gas exports in comparison with the figures registered last year, what was caused by low effective demand on the part of CIS member countries (in 2003 natural gas exports to these countries fell by 7.7 per cent).

As the analysis of the data on the output and export of oil and oil products reveals (see Table 4), the bulk of oil additionally extracted in 2003 (85 per cent) was exported (either directly, or as refined products). In 2003, the net export of oil and oil products made 291.6 million metric tons, i.e. grew by 35.5 million metric tons in comparison with the figures registered in the preceding year (including an increase in the export of oil by 32.1 million metric tons and in export of oil products by 3.4 million metric tons). In other words, similarly to the period from 2000 till 2002, exactly the growth in exports determined a significant increase in oil output in 2003. As a result, the specific weight of the net export of oil and oil products in the total oil output made 69.2 per cent, while oil exports exceeded 50 per cent of the total oil output. Due to the growing demand for natural gas both on the world and domestic markets, in 2003 the output of natural gas significantly increased and the specific weight of net exports in the total output of natural gas made 29.4 per cent.

Table The ratios between output, consumption, and export of energy resources in 1999 through 1999 2000 2001 2002 Oil, mil. metric tons Output 305.0 323.2 348.1 379.6 421.Export, total 134.5 144.5 159.7 187.5 223.Export to countries outside CIS 115.7 127.6 137.1 154.8 186.Export to CIS member countries 18.8 16.9 22.7 32.7 37.Net exports 128.5 138.7 154.7 181.3 213.Domestic consumption 120.5 123.0 122.9 123.5 129.Net exports in % of output 42.1 42.9 44.4 47.8 50.Oil products, mil. metric tons Export, total 56.9 61.9 70.8 75.0 78.Export to countries outside CIS 53.9 58.4 68.3 72.5 74.Export to CIS member countries 3.0 3.5 2.5 2.6 3.Net exports 50.3 61.5 70.5 74.8 78.Oil and oil products, mil. metric tons Net export of oil and oil products 184.5 200.2 225.2 256.1 291.Net export of oil and oil products in % of 60.5 61.9 64.7 67.5 69.output of oil Natural gas, billion c. m.

Output 590.7 584.2 581.5 594.5 620.Export, total 205.4 193.8 180.9 185.5 189.Export to countries outside CIS 131.1 133.8 131.9 134.2 142.Export to CIS member countries 74.3 60.0 48.9 51.3 47.Net exports 201.3 189.7 176.8 178.3 182.Domestic consumption 389.4 394.5 404.7 416.2 438.Net exports in % of output 34.1 32.5 30.4 30.0 29.Aggregate indicators Output of oil and natural gas, mil. metric 836.6 849.0 871.5 914.7 979.tons OE Net export of oil, oil products, and natural 365.7 370.9 384.3 416.6 455.gas, mil. metric tons OE.

Domestic consumption of oil and natural 470.9 478.1 487.2 498.1 524.gas, mil. metric tons OE.

Net export of oil, oil products, and natural 43.7 43.7 44.1 45.5 46.gas, in % of oil and natural gas output Source: RF Goskomstat, RF Energy Ministry, RF State Customs Committee, authors calculations.

The total volume of export of oil and oil products increased from 262.5 million metric tons in 2002 to 301.9 million metric tons in 2003, or by 15 per cent. The export of crude oil still dominated the structure of oil exports (almost of the total export of oil and oil products). At the same time, the bulk of export of oil products was formed by furnace oil and diesel fuel. Export of natural gas increased by 2.0 per cent. The major part of energy resources (83.4 per cent of oil, 95.5 per cent of oil products, and 75 per cent of natural gas) were exported to countries outside CIS.

As the analysis of the dynamics of the Russian oil exports over a long period reveals, the aggregate net export of oil and oil products in 2003 exceeded the level registered in 1990 (246.3 million metric tons) for the second year running and reached the level observed in 1988, when the volumes of oil exports were maximal (291.6 million metric tons). At the same time, there was observed a growth in the volumes of exports, which have steadily grown since 1996. As a result, the specific weight of refined oil products in the total oil exports increased from 18.2 per cent registered in 1990 to 26.8 in 2003. After a sharp downfall in domestic consumption of oil (according to our estimates, it declined from 269.9 million metric tons in to 129.8 million metric tons in 2003, i.e. more than 2 times), the specific weight of export of oil and oil products in oil output has increased from 47.7 per cent to 69.2 per cent over this period. In contradistinction to export of oil and oil products, in the last few years net export of natural gas did not exceed the level observed in the late 1990s and is close to the level registered in the early 1990s, although the specific weight of net export of natural gas in its output remains somewhat above its pre-reform level (29.4 per cent in 2003 as compared with 28 per cent in 1990).

In 2003, the aggregate net export of oil, oil products, and natural gas for the first time exceeded not only the level registered in 1990, but also in 1988. According to our estimates, it increased from 407.6 million metric tons in terms of oil equivalent in 1990 to 455.5 million metric tons in terms of oil equivalent in 2003, or by 11.8 per cent. At the same time, the specific weight of net exports in the aggregate output of oil and natural gas grew from 37.3 per cent to 46.5 per cent. These data indicate that the export orientation of the oil and natural gas sector enhances in comparison with the figures registered in the pre-reform period. Nevertheless, it should be taken into account that export orientation results not only from increase in the volumes of export, but also from contraction of output of hydrocarbons as a reaction to the decline in their domestic consumption and falling export to the NIS countries.

The high level of world oil prices determined a significant growth in proceeds of the oil sector of the economy (see Table 5, Figures 1 and 2). The aggregate proceeds from export of oil and staple oil products (furnace oil, diesel fuel, and motor gasoline) made US $ 51.13 billion in 2003, while their specific weight in the Russian exports made 37.8 per cent.

Table Oil and oil products export revenues in 1999 through 2003, US $ billion 1999 2000 2001 2002 Proceeds from export of oil and 18,82 34,89 33,43 38,72 51,staple oil products Source: calculated on the basis of RF Goskomstat data.

The current situation on the world oil market permits to expect that rather high levels of world prices will persist in the near term outlook. According to the base variant of the last (March of 2004) forecast of the Energy Information Administration of the US Department of Energy, a leading organization in the field of analysis and prognostication of the development of world energy sphere, in 2004 the world price of oil, calculated as the average price of the oil basket imported in the USA, will make on the average US $ 29.1 per barrel, while in 2005 it will be at US $ 26.4 per barrel. According to a forecast presented by Brunswick UBS, in 2004 on the average the Brent oil price will be observed at US $ 29.5 per barrel. Therefore, in the short term perspective there may be expected the persistence of the favorable external economic situation both in terms of development of the oil and natural gas industry, and the formation of revenues of the state budget.

Yu. N. Bobylev IET Business Survey: Industry in March of The Goskomstat data published in February demonstrated that the recovery of industry continued. According to the evaluations of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short Term Prognostication (CMASTP), in February the average daily output increased by 0.6 per cent in comparison with the figures registered in January (as adjusted for the seasonality factor). On the average, in the first two months of this year, the growth in the output made 0.6 per cent a month as compared with 0.5 per cent a month registered in the 4th quarter of 2003. In the case the present trend persists, in 2004 the index of industrial output will make 105.5 to 106.5 per cent.

In March, the rates of growth in sales of manufactured goods (as adjusted for the seasonality factor) increased further by several points reaching best values observed in the period from October of 2000. Therefore, after the seasonal downfall registered in January, the balance (rate) of change in this indicator increased by 16 points, what very closely resembles the picture observed in the first months of the preceding year. The only difference is that at preset the absolute decrease in sales was registered only in January, while a year ago a decline (negative balances) were observed from October of 2002 till January of 2003. Across industries, the rates of growth did not accelerate only in power engineering and metallurgy.

The recovery of the growth in sales has positively affected the respective assessments. In March, the balance of evaluations (above norm below norm) increased by 10 points and reached the best values registered in the second six months of 2003 (the average value observed over this period made 42 per cent). At present, the balance of assessment is at 44 per cent. The share of evaluations of demand as normal increased to 49 per cent (as compared with 51 per cent registered in the second half year of 2003). The improvement of balances and increase in the share of normal evaluations was observed across all industries with the exception of power engineering and metallurgy. The highest levels of satisfaction with demand was registered in food industry (63 per cent).

In the 1st quarter of 2004, the share of cash sales relating to industrial products made 87 per cent, while barter accounted for 4 per cent and promissory notes and offsets made 8 per cent of the total amount of sales.

However, the balance of evaluations on the above norm below norm scale demonstrates that dissatisfaction with the amounts of barter has prevailed among the enterprises involved in this type of transactions since the beginning of 2002. In the cases where enterprises evaluated the amount of their barter operations as normal, the share of barter fluctuated from 7 per cent to 10 per cent over the last four quarters. As concerns promissory notes and offsets, the amount of which is also evaluated as insufficient, this indicator fluctuated in the band from 11 per cent to 14 per cent.

The rates of growth in output (as adjusted for the seasonal factor) reached + 25 per cent in March, what is the historical high not only in 2004, but in the last 48 months. However, this increase in output begins again to outpace the growth in sales. In March, the share of enterprises reporting about the more rapid growth in production (in comparison with demand) increased to 28 per cent, while in February the share of such enterprises made 22 per cent and the share of enterprises closely following demand declined from 67 per cent to 64 per cent. In March, the maximal values of the latter indicator were observed in power engineering (86 per cent), chemistry and petrochemistry (76 per cent), and light industry (76 per cent).

The outpacing rates of growth in output facilitated the replenishment of finished stocks and revision of respective evaluations. In March, the balance of this indicator increased at once by 9 points thus returning to the levels registered at the end of 2001 and in early 2003, when Russian enterprises started to maintain finished stocks sufficient to immediately meet new (not planned) orders.

The key indicators of competition monitored by the IET substantiate the conclusion that in 2003 the progressive development of the Russias industry continued in the situation of aggravating competitive struggle.

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