Read original article at 112.ua
Many of us have probably heard that Russia's economy is highly dependent on oil and gas. But very few people know how much this dependence is. If you listen to Russian politicians and experts, you can hear the opinion that Russia gets rid of "oil dependence" and successfully develops machine building, and even increases its exports. But the facts speak about something else. Indeed, the share of exports of machinery in the total structure of Russia's exports for 2016 increased to 8.5% from 5.5% in 2013. But this is due to the fact that the total export of Russia in 2016 was 45% less than in 2013. In monetary terms, the export of engineering products to Russia in 2016 was 15% less than in 2013. So the economic miracle called "Russia starts selling airplanes instead of crude oil" - is canceled.
In 2016, the share of crude oil in Russia's total exports was 25%. So the export of machine-building is not so sufficient. For four months of 2017, this figure was 27%. This is indeed the main export potential of Russia. Despite all the talks about the fact that Russia no longer depends on oil exports, in practice this dependence is only increasing. When oil prices began to fall, Russia began to increase crude oil exports in physical terms. In 2016, Russia supplied crude oil for export by 3% more than in 2013 in physical terms. Growth is small, and therefore the fall in oil prices could not be compensated. To save the situation, in recent years, Russia has begun to increase the export of coal. Here growth is more significant - about 10%. Although coal exports cannot compete with oil exports.
So, the situation with oil is more or less clear - Russia dreams for prices to return to the level of $ 100 per barrel, but so far these are clearly unrealizable dreams. The most optimistic forecasts predict the price of oil at the level of $ 60-65 per barrel in the next five years, the price of $ 100 is not even mentioned. But hope dies last. As for natural gas, then everything is even more complicated. The export of natural gas is falling both in physical terms and in export earnings. In 2016, Russia supplied natural gas for export by 5% less than in 2013. At the same time, natural gas production in Russia fell by 4.5%. The Russian economy does not need so much of its own natural gas. If Russia does not sell gas abroad, it actually kills the Russian economy. And this contradiction of the Russian economy cannot be simply overturned or ignored.
It turns out that the less gas foreign consumers buy, the more tangible it will be for the Russian economy. Especially since the cost of gas production is growing. Russia has to start developing hard-to-reach gas fields in the Arctic and Siberia, this leads to a rise in the price of gas itself, and it turns out that there is nowhere to sell. Now only oil saves the Russian economy. And now the oil production in Russia is growing, as well as export. At the same time, it remains behind the scenes that about 45% of the oil produced is exported in the form of crude oil. Although there is constant talk about the need to export more goods with added value, after processing. But it's one thing to say, but it's another thing to do.
Another interesting fact - the amount of Russia's exports is many times greater than Ukraine's exports. Oil and gas play the big role in it. But if you subtract the amount of revenue from the sale of oil and gas from the export revenue of Russia for 2016, it turns out that the export earnings per resident of Russia was $ 792. For comparison: the amount of export earnings for 2016 for one inhabitant of Ukraine was $ 861. Whatever they say, Russia is really a "colossus with feet of oil". Without oil and gas, Russia, most likely, would be weaker not only comparing to Ukraine, but even to Belarus and Georgia. One cannot always rely solely on oil and gas, especially when the prices for these products are so unstable.
Although it is fair to say that recently Russia dramatically increased the export of grain and food products. In 2016, the share of exports of food and agricultural raw materials accounted for 6% of Russia's total exports. Although in 2013 this figure was only 3%. As for the export of wheat, in 2016 Russia sold wheat for export by 85% more than in 2013 in physical terms. It is good that Russia has decided to develop the agrarian business. This can really save the Russian economy from collapse in conditions when the earnings from the sale of oil and gas are falling. Can Russia at all think about starting the demolition of industrial plants and increasing the volume of agricultural land for grain crops? Because we should not forget that the main potential of the Russian Empire, which modern Russia so wants to imitate, was just the cultivation of grain for export. Maybe it's worth to revive old era and remember the glorious times of peasant Russia with horses, cows and carts that will take Russia to the future of the world economy?