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88,5

114,7

103,3

101,7

97,8

106,0

Communication industry

93,7

95,7

330,0

90,0

174,6

118,0

Tractor and agricultural machine building industry

70,7

159,3

148,4

129,1

77,6

76,4

Machine building industry for light industry, food-processing industry and household appliances industry

90,6

115,8

109,5

107,1

115,9

106,6

Source: the Russian State Statistics Committee (Goskomstat).

The situation in the investment machine building’s industries is the key technological factor restricting solution of topical problems related to reconstruction and modernization of production on a new technological basis – the out-of-date structure of the machine building industry can only reproduce overage reproduction proportions. A long-term tendency for decline in production of the machine tool industry provides an example of slow rates of replacement of fixed assets inside the machine building industry. Though over the period between 1999 and 2003 the investment growth in the machine building industry accounted for nearly 40% against 1998, this had no significant effect on technical and economic characteristics of capital assets of the industry. Depreciation exceeded the average industrial level by more than 2 percentage points, with the average replacement rate of fixed assets in the industry being 0,8% over the last three years. The lack of skilled personnel is a special feature of the industry. The raise in wages from 75,7% of the average in the industry in 1999 to 82,7% in 2003 had no effect on attractiveness of the industry in the labor market. Outstripping growth rate of wages against labor productivity increased the share of wages in the production costs structure from 15,3% in 2000 to 18,8% in 2002 and 20,1% in 2003. This resulted in decrease in level of profitability from 14,0% in 2000 to 9,8% in 2003.

Dynamics of the building materials industry correlate closely with the volume of works in the construction industry. Recovery in positive dynamics of residential construction was a positive factor for increased volume of production in the industry since 2001. Over the period between 2001 and 2003, new dwelling housing spaces increased nearly by 20%. In 2003, the increment of output of building materials accounted for 6,4% with increasing production in the construction industry by 14,4% as opposed to the previous year. The growth in the cement industry to 8,7% was accompanied by a tendency for increasing role of energy-efficient technologies. Intensive growth in production of building ceramics ( 122,9% by 2002 ) and building materials of polymer raw materials ( 118,5% ) was in many ways due to modernization and reconstruction of production: over the period between 1999 and 2003, the volume of investments in building materials industry doubled as against 1998, the coefficient of renewal of machinery and equipment increased from 1,2% in 1999 to 2,1% in 2003. The share of tangible costs in the total production costs decreased nearly by 1,7 percentage points, which encouraged an increase in production profitability. Changes in technical and technological provision of the production was accompanied by increase in labor productivity and restructuring of employment.

Export–oriented Industries

Export-oriented industries made the biggest contribution to the total increase in production in 2003. Consequently, the effect of processing industry on general dynamics decreased. In 2001 nearly 1/3 of the industrial output growth was related to expansion of extractive industries, while in 2002 – 2003 the contribution of fuel and metallurgical industries accounts for more than 1/2 of industrial output increment. With increasing industrial output by 7,0% as opposed to 2002, the export-oriented sector gained nearly 7,7% in production, which exceeded nearly by 2,2 percentage points the level of the previous year. As compared to the period between January and November 2002, the amount of consolidated revenues in the export-oriented industries increased by 13,3% with this parameter grown by 10,0% in the industry as a whole.

metallurgical sector in 2003 nonferrous industry lost its dominant impact on growth rate movement. Production gains in the nonferrous metallurgy accounted for 6,2% in 2003. As compared to 2002, the growth rate in aluminum industry increased by 2,9 percentage points and accounted for 103,9%, and by 105,3% in the nickel-cobalt production industry, which compensated in full the downturn of the previous year. High growth rates were maintained by purchasing of nickel raw materials abroad, which increased by 4,6 times. The general downtrend in growth rates of the industry was caused by changes in the demand for basic exported goods. At the end of three quarters in 2003, export gains were noted only in raw aluminum (10,6%). A the same time, given a favorable price movement of nonferrous metals, manufacturers intended to maintain stability in the traditionally flexible and cyclic nonferrous metals market, rather than increase the supply.

Ferrous industry gained the leadership in the sector with growth rates being at the level of 108,9% as against the previous year. The production growth rates in the ferrous metallurgy was supported by simultaneous growth of internal and external demand. The demand for construction materials increased with investment growth in the national economy. Sales of rolled ferrous metals in the internal market increased by 17,9% in 2003 as against 7,0% in 2002. Favorable changes in business environment and positive price movement in the global market encouraged an additional growth in metallurgy and other industries manufacturing industrial goods. Export of ferrous metals grew by 25,6% as opposed to January – November 2002, and that of ferrous alloys grew by 34,7%. Consolidated revenues in the ferrous metallurgy increased by 3,4 times at the end of the three quarters in 2003.

The Oil and Gas Sector

The oil and gas sector is a basic sector of Russia’s economy and contributes considerably to the federal budget and the country’s positive balance of payment. In 2003, the price situation in the world market for oil had a major impact on the state of Russia’s oil and gas sector. As over 65% of the national oil output is exported as a crude oil or in the form of oil products, while domestic sales imply the price level being substantially lower than the international one, the latter de-facto forms the major factor that determines revenues to, and financial state of the national oil sector. Because of the fall in the Iraqi oil output in the aftermath of the US-led military operation to topple Saddam Hussein and cuts in OPEC members’ oil output, in 2003 international oil prices sky-rocketed, and during the year the average price for the OPECF oil basket mostly had been overshooting the Organization’s price target range of USD 22-28/ barrel, and by the results of the year it averaged USD 28.13/barrel. During the period in question the Russian Urals international (European) prices averaged USD 27.04/barrel (Table 8). At its 2003 (September) conference, OPEC ruled to cut down the oil output by its members by 900,000 barrels a day effective as of November 1, 2003, and that has had a considerable impact on the rise in international oil prices in the 4th quarter 2003.

Table 8

International Oil Prices in 1997-2003, USD/Barrel

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Prices for Brent, UK

19,12

12,72

17,97

28,50

24,44

25,02

Prices for Urals, Russia

18,33

11,83

17,30

26,63

22,97

23,73

Price for the OPEC oil basket

18,68

12,28

17,47

27,60

23,12

24,34

2002
4th Q.

2003

1st Q.

2003

2nd Q.

2003

3rd Q.

2003

4th Q.

2003

Prices for Brent, UK

26,81

31,49

26,03

28,38

29,43

28,83

Prices for Urals, Russia

25,55

29,24

23,86

27,05

27,99

27,04

Price for the OPEC oil basket

26,63

30,45

25,87

27,43

28,79

28,13

Source: OECD International Energy Agency.

The development of Russia’s oil and gas sector in 2003 retained the trend to the rise in oil and oil products output that had emerged between 2002-03. In 2003, the oil production, including that of gas condensate, for the first time exceeded the 1992 level and reached 421 mn.t. The increment in oil output in 2003 vs. the prior year accounted for 11.1% (a record-breaking level ever noted through the whole period of reforms), while the increment in the volume of primary refining made up 2.7%. The rise in the natural gas output that first started in 2002 continued in 2003, and it ultimately accounted for 3.4% (Table 9). In parallel with that, investment activity grew slightly, too, especially in the gas sector: the volume of operational oil drilling in 2003 grew by 2.7% vs. the prior year, while the one for gas – by 58.6%. At the same time, due to the fall in the volume of drilling in 2002, the placement of new oil wells into operation dropped by 5.0%, coupled with the fall in the volume of oil prospecting drilling (by 10.7% as compared with the prior year), which can be explained by a high sufficiency of the existing reserves. By contrast, the gas prospecting drilling was growing (by 31.2% vs. the prior year). In the oil refinery sector, the output of petroleum derivatives with the use of intense technologies soared by 13.1%, while the intensity of crude oil refinery grew from 69.6% in 2002 up to 70.3% in 2003. The share of high-octane gas in the overall output of automobile gas grew from 49.4% in 2002 up to 52.0% in 2003.

Table 9

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