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Fifth, high growth rates of demand and output contribute to the improvement of enterprises financial and economic situation. In I quarter 2007 17% of enterprises estimated their situation as good, which is the absolute record value. There are 37% of such enterprises in metallurgy, 24% - in chemistry and petrochemistry, 13% - in machine-building. Only 11% of producer estimate their position as bad, which is an absolute minimum over 1993-2007, in 2005 there were 15% of such enterprises. Main part of the enterprises (72%) regards their situation as satisfactory.

However the increase in production output due to the creation of the new kinds of products still confronts serious obstacles that did not principally change over the last seven years. Only 72% of enterprises have the intentions to develop and release new products. This is the worst result over the period of monitoring, began in 2000. The maximum inclination to new products development was registered by surveys in 2005-06, when 82% of enterprises intended to develop products, which were new for them. So, this index lost 10 p.p.

over two years - more than a serious problem for the economy, which does not experience the excess of innovation activity in the industry. The plans for the creation of new products differ considerably in regard to the branches of industry. New products are most likely to be created in machine-building (87% of enterprises declared such intentions) and ferrous metallurgy (81%). Second echelon is occupied by chemistry and petrochemistry (68%), light (67%) and food (62%) industries. Most modest plans are demonstrated by construction industry (45%), non-ferrous metallurgy (43%) and timber industry (43%, in purely furniture production this index is equal to 76%). Certainly, bigger enterprises have more possibilities to create new products.

The decrease in intensity of plans for new products creation in next two years is accounted for by the whole complex of causes observed in the process of monitoring. None of the obstacles is cited nowadays less frequently than two years ago. Moreover, the citation of four limitation factors either sustained at or reached the maximum level. 20% citation of competitors advantage due to possession of the unique sources of energy, raw materials, technology, patent and licenses seems especially alarming. It is obvious that from this list enterprises are most worried about energy and raw materials. Patents and licenses are not essential attributes of modern Russian industry.

It is high costs that are necessary to start production that are considered by enterprises the main obstacle for the creation of new products (see table). The frequency of this obstacle citation on the whole in the industry is 65% (maximum - 73% - fell on 2001-2002). Impossibility to reach the scale of output which secure profit always holds the second place (2007-2008 43%, maximum was observed in 2003-2004 47%). Low prices at new markets, which do not defray costs, are traditionally cited at the third place. The combination of these three interrelated reasons (low investment activity of the majority of the enterprises and high costs of investment resources) with the fact that the credits in industry are used mainly to replenish floating assets (59% of the enterprises) and only 38%of producers attract them to modernize the production, which proves serious and sustaining obstacles for innovation way of Russian industry development.

Table. Obstacles for Development of New Products in 2001-2008 (as percentage to the number of respondents) 2001-02 2003-04 2005-06 2007-1. no information on the situation at new markets 21 20 13 2. low prices, which do not defray costs, at new markets 25 31 27 3. saturation of new sales markets and apprehension on drop in prices 13 16 12 4. rigid resistance of traditional producers 11 16 11 5. support of traditional producers by local administration 5 12 3 6. attachment of suppliers and customers to traditional producers 12 13 13 7. high costs necessary to start new production output 73 72 63 8. high transportation costs 15 20 7 9. impossibility to reach scale of sales and production which secure profits 46 47 38 quickly 10. advantages of the competitors due to possession of unique primary mate15 19 14 rials, energy, technologies, patents and licenses 11. there are no special obstacles 13 7 19 Source: IET surveys.

The forecasts of changes in demand become more and more optimistic. Expected sales growth rates (after excluding seasonality) exceeded the results of the previous month by 5 points and reached an absolute maximum over 1992-2007. As a consequence the plans for output changes were also revised towards the increase. Planned production growth rates exceeded plans for February by 4 points and reached absolute maximum over last fifteen years. Industry does not intend to slow down.

S. Tsukhlo Foreign Trade First month of 2007 was characterized by considerable drop in prices for the main Russian export commodities as well as the intensification for the trend of anticipating import growth rates to Russia as compared with Russian export growth rates.

Russian government is changing export policy with regard to woodwork production with the aim to decrease export volumes of non-processed wood.

In January 2007 Russian foreign trade turnover, calculated by the balance-of-payments methodology, increased up to USD 32.4 bln., which is 9.8% higher than the figure of January 2006, which is the lowest in annual terms value of increase since June 2002.

The basis of the trade turnover is formed by the trade with non-CIS countries USD 27.6 bln., which exceeds the figure of January 2006 by 9.2%. Trade with CIS-countries grew by 13.2% and reached the level of USD 4.8 bln.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Balance Import Export Source: Central Bank of the Russian Federation Figure 1. Main Indices of the Russian Foreign Trade (as USD bln.) In January 2007 Russian export was equal to USD 21 bln., which exceeds the figure of January 2006 only by 0.5%. Besides, January seasonal export recession as compared with December is much deeper this year than last year export is by 29.9% lower than December 2006 figure, while in 2006 such a recession was 14.4%.

In comparison with the year ago index of the export to non-CIS countries did not change and was equal to USD 18.2 bln. As for CIS countries, goods worth USD 2.9 bln. were exported there, which is by 3.7% more than in January 2006. Export supplies growth slowdown was the continuation of the trend, which outlined in 2006.

Though the situation at the world markets became worse for Russian exporters at the beginning of 2007, it still remains quite favorable.

As compared with the last month, in January 2007 the average price for oil grade Brent went down by 13.2% and was equal to USD 54.8 per barrel, the average price for oil grade Urals went down by 13% to July July July July July July July Jan.

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USD 55 per barrel;. As compared with January 2006 the prices on average were higher by 12.4 and 15.9%, correspondingly.

Average price for oil grade Urals over January-February was equal to USD 51.816 per barrel. Accordingly, the value of export duty fir oil will decrease by USD 23.3 per ton and will be equal to USD 156.4 per ton from 1 April 2007. Following oil duties, export duties for oil products will decrease from USD 133.to USD 117.7 per ton of light oil products and from USD 71.8 down to USD 63.4 per ton of dark oil products.

In January 2007 oil products prices were on average lower than a year ago. Petrol premium cost USD 1.per gallon, which is by 14% lower than in January 2007.

The price for natural gas was equal to USD 6.9 per BTU, which is by 28.9% lower than a year ago and by 5.9% lower than the figure of December 2006.

As compared with the previous month, in January 2007 prices for non-ferrous metals due to the decrease in industrial demand went down for the most part. At the world market of non-ferrous metals according to the results of London Metal Exchange quotations with the immediate delivery period, the average price per ton of copper was USD 2808.3, which is by 14.7% cheaper than a month ago. The price for aluminum decreased by 0.3% down to USD 2808.3 per ton. Price for nickel increased by 6.4% and was equal to USD 36795.2 per ton. However as compared with the corresponding period of 2006 the prices grew up considerably: by 19.7% for copper, by 18.1% for aluminum and by 152.8% for nickel.

Table Average Monthly World Prices in January of the respective year 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Oil (Brent), USD/bbl 23.4 15.3 11.3 25.5 26.0 19.4 28.1 31.3 42.9 62.5 54.Natural gas, USD /2.486 2.097 1.426 2.431 5.214 2.146 5.048 6.156 6.907 9.725 6.mln BTU Petroleum, 0.685 0.507 0.494 0.739 0.865 0.573 0.852 0.992 1.291 1.849 1.USD /gallon Copper, USD/ton 2400 1682 1528.2 1887.9 1849.6 1557.8 1571.3 2441.9 3170 4734 5668.Aluminum, USD/ton 1598 1480 1301.4 1695.5 1641.5 1377.9 1291.1 1608.2 1832 2378 2808.Nickel, USD/ton 7485 5496 4550.8 8338.1 7091.3 6094.6 7643.9 14855 14505 14555 36795.Source: calculated on the basis of London Metal Exchange, International Petroleum Exchange (London) data According to the Federal Customs Service data, the crude oil export in January 2007 was equal to 19.mln. tons, which is by 11.2% higher than the level of supplies in January 2006. The volume of export to nonCIS countries increased by 17.7% and reached the volume of 17.6 mln. tons. Average contract price for crude oil was equal to USD 379.9 per ton in January 2007, which was by 4% lower than the corresponding figure of the previous year. There were 1.6 mln. tons, corresponding to 74.2% to the level of January 2007, exported to CIS countries. The decrease in oil supplies to CIS countries is caused by the decrease of export to Belarus.

As compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, export volumes of crude oil increased by 6.7%, of oil products by 3.8%, of ferrous metals by 24.4%, of unprocessed timber by 16.4%, of refined copper by 66%, of unprocessed nickel by 139.9%. There was by 16.6% less of natural gas, by 51.7% of unprocessed aluminum and by 32.2% less machinery and equipment exported than a year ago.

The attention should be paid to the fact that machinery and equipment export decreased considerably. According to the Federal Customs Service data, in January 2007 there was by 32.2% less machinery and equipment sold abroad than in January 2006. At the same time the export of this kind of goods to CIS countries increased by 41.5%, and to non-CIS-countries decreased by 57.2%.

On the whole, fuel and energy commodities still comprise the most considerable part in export goods structure 72.4% of the total volume, which is, nevertheless, a bit less than in January 2006. the share of metals and metal goods increased by 13.6%, the share of chemistry industry production did not experience significant changes and was equal to 5.6%, timber, pulp and paper goods increased slightly and was equal to 2.8%, the share of machinery and equipment changed considerably from 3.7% in January 2006 to 1.6% in January 2007.

In January 2007 in commodity structure of export to CIS-countries, the share of fuel and energy complex production decreased by almost 25% and was equal to 46.6%. the share of machinery and equipment increased up to 16.6%, metals and goods thereof up to 12.9%, chemistry industry production up to 9.8%.

In January 2007 import to Russia was equal to USD 11.4 bln., which is by 41.5% lower than the figure of the previous month, but by 32.3% more than the figure of January 2006. Import from non-CIS countries was equal to USD 9.4 bln, exceeding the figure of January 2006 by 32.6%. There were goods worth USD 2 bln.

that were imported from CIS countries, which is by 31% more than a year ago.

High Russian import growth rates were assisted by the increase of 13.1% of real disposable population income and ruble appreciation against the main currencies. According to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation data, ruble appreciation to dollar was 14.0%, to euro 5.8%, to the basket of the main trade partners currencies by 6.6%.

The volume of import of the main part of the most important goods in January 2007 increased considerably in comparison with January of the previous year. It was import supplies of foodstuffs and agriculture raw materials that increased considerably. As compared with January 2006 the monetary volume of this goods group increased by 67.4%.

Machinery and equipment supplies increased by 58.4%, passenger car supplies by almost twofold.

There were by 81.1% more ferrous metals, by 121.3% of steel pipes, by 82.3% of clothes, by 325.9% of fresh and frozen meat, by 74.4% of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, by 58.4% of raw sugar imported than a year ago. Medicines import decreased by 31.2%, main reason being the attempt to improve the remedies safety system by substitution of the remedies compulsory certification for conformity declaration, according to which the supplier takes all the responsibility for the quality of medicines.

Similarly to the situation a year ago, the commodity structure of import consists almost by half from machinery and equipment supplies (49.6%). The share of metals and goods thereof increased considerably up to 28.4%, the share of foodstuffs and primary products for their production increased up to 18.6%, the share of chemistry industry production decreased down to 14.1%.

In the structure of import from CIS-countries the share of metals and goods thereof increased considerably up to 28.4%, of machinery, equipment and transport vehicles up to 25.5%. The share of mineral products was equal to 16.6%, of chemistry industry production to 12.7%.

The balance of trade was positive and equal to USD 9.7 bln. However due to the fact that the monetary volume of Russian import growth exceeded export growth, trade surplus in January 2007 decreased by 8.5%as compared with December 2006 and by 21.5% as compared with January 2006.

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