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Черная металлургия

97,5

101

91,9

107,9

Цветная металлургия

96,4

105

95,0

109,6

Химическая и нефтехими-ческая промышленность

92,9

102

92,5

118,3

Машиностроение и металлообработка

95,4

104

92,5

110,3

Лесная, деревообрабатываю-щая и целлюлозно-бумажная промышленность

82,5

101

99,6

114,3

Промышленность строительных материалов

82,7

96

94,2

110,2

Легкая промышленность

77,5

98

88,5

106,1

Пищевая промышленность

95,8

99

98,1

109,9

* As % to January- August 1998

Source: Roststatagentstvo

The sharp upturn in the world oil market was induced by a number of factors. Its is the decision of OPEC countries made yet in March (regarding the coordinated contraction in oil output at 1.7 mln. barrel/day, which was made to supplement the previous similar agreements which had been concluded yet last year) which has a crucial impact on the world oil supply. The four non- OPEC members, namely Mexico, Norway, Oman and Russia, declared their intention to contract their output by yet 0.4 mln. barrel/ day. The OPEC countries’ actions undertaken in compliance with the said three agreements reached their maximal efficiency in July this year: at that time their oil output reduction was accounted for 93% of their overall commitments as per the agreements, or 4.3 mln. barrel/day (the respective index in April was 76%, May –88%, June- 89%). The OPEC countries’ actual behavior thus does not prove some analysts pessimistic forecasts: according to the latter, the leading oil exporters would have pursued the coordinated policy to maintain the world oil prices at the extremely low level (for instance, USD 5—7/barrle). Theoretically, the pursuance of such a policy might be possible, however, the critical dependence of the leading OPEC countries’ economy on oil export makes realization of such a concept very problematic. At the same time it may be expected that as long as the situation is improving, the said index of the OPEC members’ compliance with the agreements would be falling, as the higher oil prices would create stimuli for the production growth.

The radical change in the world oil market and Rb. depreciation have created rather favorable conditions for the Russian oil sector. The specifics of 1999 are the de-facto stabilization of oil production and refining compared with the 1998 crisis. Between January to August, the total volume of oil output made up 99.9% compared with its respective period of the prior year, while the rate of the primary oil refining is accounted for 101.2%. After several years of the steady fall, the size of the exploitation stock of oil wells have stabilized. The rate of the fall in the volume of oil prospecting drilling has slowed down, and between January to July it made up 91.0% relative to the respective period of the prior year. During last month, the volume of operational drilling has grown. At the same time the placement of new oil wells into operation fell by 20.5% which may be considered a protracted echo of the last year’s crisis.

The trend to further growth in the export of the oil sector’s products is still in place. The specifics of this year are a notable (18% when compared with the Ist half 1998) growth in the export of petroleum derivatives which has replaced the significant fall in the export in 1998 due to extremely low world prices (during almost the whole 1998, the export of the Russian petroleum derivatives was unprofitable because of high production costs and low world prices). It is still diesel fuel and black oil on which the main part of the export of petroleum derivatives falls. During the Ist half 1999, the share of export in the stock of diesel fuel has been 57.8%, black oil- 43.3%, petrol- 10.6%.

At the same time, because of the Rb. depreciation and the growth in the world prices the import of petroleum derivatives fell drastically. Thus, during the first half this year, the import of petrol slid over 10 times and made only 9.3% of the level registered for the respective period of the prior year. At the same time the proportional weight of import in the petrol stock dropped from 8.7% reported between January- June last year to 0.9% this year. As the analysis shows, in the conditions of holding the domestic price for petroleum derivatives (as Fig. 1 shows, during the Ist half 1999, the prices for petrol in USD equivalent actually corresponded to the level which had been registered as of late 1994, i.e. prior to the oil price liberalization), it was the fall in import supplies which became the main reason for the so- called ‘petrol crisis’ which the number of regions experienced in summer.

Frequently used references to the fall in the petrol production an growth in the petrol export seem rather an unjustified explanation of the petrol crisis’s roots. According to the official statistics, between January trough July 1999, the production of petrol made up 99.8% to the level reported during the respective period of the prior year, while the oil refineries’ domestic sales reached 102.1%. At the same time the export of petrol has not grown during the first half 1999, on the contrary, it fell by 5.4%. For the same period of time, however, the total sales of petrol in the domestic market dropped by 11.2%. That, according to some calculations, at a. 80% was determined by the fall in the import of petrol.

To the factors which have deteriorated the contraction in the petrol stock, in our opinion, one should also attribute the growth in demand. Such a growth was to a significant extent was caused by the regeneration of industrial output, regional differentiation in terms of petrol sales, and the cease of sales in anticipation of a price rise or for the purpose of creating petrol shortages. It is likely that the unofficial petrol import has also played a certain part. However, the amount of such an export is negligible enough to be considered among the main reasons for the petrol crisis.

Fig.1.

IET monthly trend survey: september 1999

The results of the regular survey held in September show that the industrial confidence indicator computed by IET by the single European methodology reached the maximal level ( -2 per cent points) ever registered for all 88 surveys held. The negative value of the indicator can be attributed to the traditional dissatisfaction of the Russian enterprises with the volume of effective demand for their products. The other two components of the Indicator, namely, the projection of output and the estimate of the stock of finished goods) have become positive since early 1997 and they are likely to counterbalance the dissatisfaction with the demand.

The intensity of the growth in effective demand for industrial products did not change in September. The reports regarding the growth in the demand still prevail in the industrial sector as a whole. The same situation is noted in all the industry branches except the food- processing sector. It is the chemicals, petrochemicals and the light industry which experience the most intensive growth in monetary sales.

During the last six months, the survey have registered the fall in the barter demand. In September, the intensity of the fall grew by several points, however, it has not reached the level of July: at that time the reduction in barter transactions was most intensive. In September, the share of reports regarding the growth in monetary sales at the expense of the contracting barter transactions grew by 37%. The inverse process ( i.e. the supplanting of the effective demand by the barter one) during the last four months was reported by 11% of enterprises.

In September, the growth in industrial output kept the same pace as in August. The output grew in all the sectors except the food- processing one. The latter reports production decline for the third month running. The most intensive growth took place in the non- ferrous metallurgy and light industry.

The lack of the stocks of finished goods grew once again and peaked its absolute maximum registered in May 1999. The surplus of stocks which had been reported by the non- ferrous and food- processing sectors in August disappeared in September- all the industry branches reported the prevalence of ‘below norm’ answers. The economic concept which argues that the estimates of stocks are the market equilibrium indicator suggests that enterprises should aspire to normalization of their stocks at the expense of the change in producer price and/or volume of output. Should the stocks be excessive, the prices and output should be reduced, while with insufficient stocks prices and output should be increased.

The price rise became more intensive in September: the share of reports regarding growing prices grew from 30 up to 38% for the period concerned. The growth was reported by all the sectors except the ferrous metallurgy.

Upon their absolute maximum registered in August, the estimates of the change in output slid by 4 points. The growing optimism was registered in the non- ferrous metallurgy, wood- working and paper and pulp sectors. However, negative estimates ( i.e. expectations of an absolute fall in output) take place only in the industry of construction materials.

The growth in the projections of change in prices continued in September. The share of reports regarding the supposed increase in producer prices reached 50% which is the maximal value for the last eight months. The most intensive price rise is envisaged in the food- processing, machine- building sectors, chemicals, and petrochemicals.

During the last four months the projections of the change in effective demand have remained practically unchanged: the industrial sector as a whole expects a growth in monetary sales. It is the construction sector which project an absolute fall in such transactions.

Since May 1999, the projections of the change in barter demands have changed insignificantly. The majority of enterprises envisage that their volume of barter transactions would remain unchanged, while those who envisage changes mostly take the optimistic stand, and the projections of the fall in barter transactions prevail by the industrial sector as a whole. During the forthcoming months, an absolute growth in barter deals may happen in the ferrous metallurgy, food- processing and light sectors.

S. Tsoukhlo

Foreign trade

In July, the Russian foreign trade turnover made up USD 9.5 bln., which is at 19.4% down compared with the respective period of the prior year. The fall happened because of the sharp fall in import supplies ( at 37.5%) and contraction of export supplies to the CIS countries ( by 22.6%).

The value volume of the goods exported to Far- Abroad countries in July made up USD 5.1 bln. which is a 1% growth compared with July 1998, and a 10.9% growth compared with June 1999. At the same time, the Russian imports from the Far- Abroad states made up USD 2.6 bln., which is at 39.5% down when compared with the respective period of 1998. However, when compared with the prior month, imports supplies grew by 0.8%.

In all, during the period between January through July 1999, Russia’s foreign trade turnover with Far- Abroad states made up USD 49.9 bln., which is at 24.3% down compared with the respective period of the prior year. The export supplies fell by 4.5% ( USD 32.3bln.), while the import supplies- by 44.3% ( USD 17.9 bln.)

Between January to July 1999, Russia’s trade balance with Far- Abroad countries has been positive- USD 1,4385 bln. versus 1,586 bln. reported between January to July 1998.

Main indices of the Russian foreign trade

Export outside CIS Export CIS Import outside CIS Import CIS

Source: Roststagantstvo

In the conditions of high profitability of export operations, the trend to the growth in physical volume of export supplies to the Far- Abroad countries is still in place. Thus, for the first seven months this year Russia exported petroleum derivatives at 14.4% more than between January to July 1998, gas - at 9.7%, aluminum- 11.3%, copper 126.4%, mineral fertilizers- 26%, non- processed timber- 42.3%, cellulose- 14.8%.

As to the import supplies, on the background of the contraction by practically all the articles, the growth in purchases of grain and unrefined sugar are especially notable: 216.2% and 140.5% of the level registered during the respective period of the prior year, respectively. The supplies of machinery and equipment fell by 41.1%.

According to the data on the period between January to July 1999, the volume of the mutual trade between Russia and CIS countries made up USD 11.6 bln. and fell by 38% compared with the first half 1998. The volume of export made up USD 6.4 bln. ( 32.6% down compared with the respective period of 1998), while import amounted to USD 5.2 bln. ( a 43.5% fall). Thus, Russia’s trade balance with CIS states became positive and totaled USD 1.2 bln.

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