Studies Eastern European Markets
Eastern European Markets
Daria Chistokhvalova

Research Report No. 145, 2003. Departnment of Industrial Engineering and Management.Lappeenranta University of Technolog.


    This research report is focused on the Russian exports development in the last 10 years, exports structure, geographical diffusion and the Russian exporting companies as the major "actors" of the Russian internationalisation game.

    The report is organised as follows: in Chapter 2 author analyses the Russian exports over 10 years period 1992-2002: the dynamics of the Russian exports, the Russian exports structure, the geography of the Russian exports. Chapter 3 reviews the main theoretical concepts of the exporting and the export development models. The purpose of this chapter is to understand if the existing export theories could be applied for the analysis of the Russian exporting companies or not. Chapter 4 analyses the biggest Russian exporters, dynamics of their exports in terms of industry, geography and commodity structure. Chapter 5 concludes.

    Conclusions (edit.)

    Russian foreign trade liberalisation reforms

    With the dissolution of the USSR the new radical liberalisation reform of the foreign trade started in the new country. Administrative regulations together with the exports tariffs were urged to avoid the disintegration of the Russian economy, to soften adaption to the new changing prices and to provide the sustainable payments from exports operations to the federal budget.

    In the years 1995 currency corridor was set to support the exports income and to contain the inflation. Currency corridor, as one of the main macroeconomic regulators of the Russian economy, limited the fluctuation of the exchange rate in the given period of time. Starting from the year 2001 new export tariffs were passed, the tariff structure was simplified. There are only four export tariff rates nowadays: 5, 10, 15, and 20 %. The average exports rate is counted as 10.7 %, which is much lower than the previous one. The significant result of the liberalisation of the foreign trade in Russia is the increased openness of the Russian economy.

    Russian exports dynamics

    After the decrease in the Russian foreign trade volumes in 1992, the growth of the exports and the imports was even higher than the growth of the GDP. But the dynamics of foreign trade growth was irregular. So, in the reformation period, we consider exports as an important factor of sustainablility of the Russian industry.

    The total volume of the Russian exports doubled in the 10 years period (1992-2002). The growth was achieved mostly because of the increase in the exports to the Western European countries, in the same period the Russian exports to the countries of Commonwealth of Undependent States (CIS) increased not so noticeably, and did not influence the dynamics of the total Russian exports curve. The dynamics of the Russian exports was influenced by world prices for the exported goods, resources´ prices on the world market and its fluctuations, inflation in Russia and top heavy rouble-dollar exchange rate.

    Russian exports structure

    The raw materials producing sector remains the backbone of the Russian economy, and although it employs only 1,5 % of the country´s able-bodied people, it provides 6 % of the Russian GDP and more than 50 % of its exports. Moreover, the sector absorbs more than 20 % of the total of investments in the national economy and more than 60 % of investments in the country´s industries.

    A sizable bend towards the raw materials producing sector causes Russian development to be strongly dependent on world market prices for raw materials. The world market prices for oil and petrochemicals were high in the year 2000, what reasoned the boom in the Russian exports. The incrase in the Russian exports of oil and fuels in 2000 was 71 % accounted by the increase in the proces and only 5 % by increase in the actual volumes of the exported material.

    So, we can state the ineffective commodity structure as the main problem of the Russian exports. The fuels and resources specialisation of Russia on the international market, acceptable on the short period of time, does not have an evololution to the more developed forms, what seriously limits expansion possibilities of Russia on the international markets.

    Geography of the Russian exports

    The geography of the Russian exports is rather stable, majoring orientation to the European markets. Ten countries - main Russian trade partners cover more than 50 % of the total Russian exports.

    The share of the exports to EU countries remained quite stable in the analysed period. There was a decline of 33 % in the year 1998 after the default in Russia, then exports share recovered and achieved 38 % in the year 2002. Taking into consideration share of the future EU member countries (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) in the Russian exports, we can conclude that EU´s share in Russian export will be increased significantly in 2004 and will achieve approximately the level of 55 %.

    Share of the Russian exports to CIS countries is oriented mostly to three countries which accumalated about 90 % of the Russian exports to CIS: Ukraine (37 %), Byelorussia (up to 40 %) and Kazakhstan (about 16 %). Exports to CIS generally decreased from 21 % in 1992 to only 14 % in 2002.

    Russian 100 biggest exporters

    Russian 100 biggest exporters (according to the RA Expert rating) are accounted for more than 60 % of the country´s total exports or more than 62 billion USD. The total number of exporting russian enterprises in the last year was above 30,000, it turns out that 0.3 % of the exporters accounted for more than 60 % of the total volume of exports.

    The structure of the top 100 enterprises´ exports seems to correlate with that of the country´s overall structure of exports: leading positions belong to one and the same industries. Exports volumes of the enterprises representing other industries in the top 100 list are minor, and, all combined, are only a little higher than 10 % of the total volume of exports of the 100 biggest exporters.

    This does not mean that Russia has no alternative to being a raw materials supplier. Russia´s high-tech products are highly valued in the world and some do not have foreign rivals. These include developments in the spheres of military technologies and eqquipment, aviation, aerospace and the nuclear power industry.

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