The cost of non-resource non-energy exports in July 2021 reached an all-time high, economists from the RANEPA and the Higher School of Economics calculated. The main reason is a sharp increase in the cost and volumes of export of precious and other metals from Russia. In particular, such exports accelerated in anticipation of the introduction of export duties on metals, which forced companies to issue customs declarations in July in advance.
According to the analysis of the RANEPA Center for Research on International Trade, in January-July 2021, non-resource non-energy exports (NOE) increased by 40.8% against the corresponding period of the pre-crisis 2019, although the volume of export of energy and raw materials in value terms was lower due to lower prices. by 9.8%. The value of imports of goods for the same period due to the purchase of machinery and equipment increased by 20.6%.
As a result, in July 2021, the NOE reached a record monthly figure of $ 26.2 billion – due to the increase in the export of metals before the introduction of an export duty on them from August, RANEPA experts specify. HSE economists, in their review of the monthly dynamics of exports and imports based on seasonally adjusted data, note that, according to the Federal Customs Service, the volume of exports of unprocessed aluminum in July 2021 exceeded the level of the previous month by 8.7 times in value terms and by 7.8 times in terms of value. by weight. The figures for July 2021 were higher than the values for the entire 2020. At the same time, the physical volume of production of unprocessed aluminum in July exceeded the level of June by only 1.6%.
A similar picture is observed in the export of ferrous metals: growth in July compared to June is twofold. “The most likely reason for this situation is the advance registration in July 2021 of customs declarations for the vast majority of exports of these commodity items, which was not accompanied by real export deliveries this month. Most likely, this is due to the desire of exporters to minimize profit losses after the introduction of temporary duties on the export of metals from August 2021, ”the HSE explains.
According to the RANEPA, the growth in the export of NOE in January-July 2021 compared to the same period in 2019 by 40.8% is associated with the positive dynamics of prices (by 20%) and physical volumes of export of goods (by 17%). The only exceptions are the export prices of domestic machinery and equipment, which dropped by 2%.
The export of base metals increased to $ 35 billion, amounting to 30% of the NOE in January-July, which is 3.8 percentage points (pp) higher than the pre-crisis level. The share of the most high-tech item “Machinery and equipment” decreased the most (by 3.5 percentage points) – to 11% of the total NOE. The share of chemical products in the NOE decreased to 16% (by 2.2 percentage points), and the export of cement from the mineral products commodity item almost completely stopped.
The main source of growth in the export of NOE is still the export of precious metals and precious stones, which in January-July reached $ 14.5 billion, accounting for 13% of the entire corresponding group of goods (plus 7.1 p.p. to the indicator of January-July 2019). This is close to the volume of export of agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs from the Russian Federation ($ 17.5 billion). “The growth in physical volumes of export of precious metals is largely due to the decision of the Central Bank to stop buying gold to replenish reserves from April 2020,” the authors of the study believe. They note that the steady growth of the NOE is provided by goods of low and medium degree of processing, with moderate indicators of the dynamics of the export of high-tech industries – “which largely continues the dynamics outlined last year.”
According to HSE estimates, taking into account the seasonality, the longest periods of continuous growth in exports (up to July 2021 inclusive) were observed for synthetic rubber (15 months), iron ores and concentrates (15 months), natural gas (15 months), liquid fuels (13 months). ), crude oil (13 months), other petroleum products (12 months), ferrous metals (11 months) and diesel fuel (10 months). A continuous increase in imports for 15 consecutive months was found for furniture, machinery, equipment and vehicles, except for cars; 14 months – for cars; 13 months – for ferrous metals.